The freshwater fishing season began on October 1, and included in the license categories is one for designated waters.
Fish & Game NZ Chief Executive Corina Jordan says around 100,000 anglers are expected to go freshwater fishing throughout the country during the season.
While most angling takes place in the country’s easilyaccessible lowland rivers and lakes, this season will mark the introduction of a new management tool to better protect New Zealand’s more fragile fisheries, which are often located in the backcountry.
“The new Designated Waters Licence will see Kiwi anglers get a fairer share on some of the waterways that Fish & Game’s research has shown are subject to too much pressure - around two percent of the country’s rivers.
“The new licence category will help us manage angling pressure by spreading angling effort around so that it isn’t concentrated in certain areas, which detracts from the angling experience and also has the potential to negatively impact the fisheries.”
Over the past ten years, Fish & Game has received increasing complaints from resident and non-resident anglers regarding overcrowding in a small number of fisheries that will now be managed through the Designated Waters Licence.
“Our research and monitoring show that a small percentage of non-resident anglers will intensely fish a local area, not only putting pressure on the fishery but also displacing other anglers. We’ve implemented this new fisheries management tool to help address that imbalance.”
In some fisheries, angler use has gone from a roughly 50:50 resident-to-non-resident split (in the early 2000s) to an 80:20 split favouring non-resident anglers.
Jordan says that “with a majority of our non-resident anglers fishing our backcountry fisheries for four or less days, most anglers won’t be impacted by the change.”
Anglers can find out more about the Designated Waters Licence, as well as information and updates on the upcoming season on the Fish & Game website -
Fish & Game NZ