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Estuary anglers warned of regulations

Media release from Otago Fish & Game

Estuary anglers warned of regulations

Boat and land based salmon anglers are being warned to buy a fishing licence if they intend to fish near any Otago river or stream mouth to avoid prosecution.

Otago Fish & Game operations manager Ian Hadland says his rangers have been taking an educational approach to the issue so far but a recent increase in the level of offending means that an upscaled compliance effort is required, and more offence notices will be issued.

The requirement for a freshwater sportsfishing licence when fishing at a river mouth is nothing new but what is less well known is that the freshwater sportsfish area of jurisdiction actually extends 500m out to sea off every river mouth.

“What that means is that if you are fishing with gear that could take a trout or salmon at the river mouth, a ranger can legitimately request a licence and if you are unable to produce one, your gear could be seized and you could find yourself in court.”

Mr Hadland says a good run of salmon in east coast rivers this year has driven many anglers to river mouths over summer and some are not aware of the regulations about bag limits, methods or licencing. The worst area for non compliance has been the Leith and Taieri River mouths.

“Land and boat based salmon anglers fishing the harbour around the yacht club and at the Leith mouth wall all require a fishing licence, as do people fishing below the Taieri mouth bridge,” Mr Hadland points out.

He says some people get quite a surprise to learn that Fish & Game has jurisdiction over areas which appear to be in the marine area. He urges people to consult the regulations before they take to the water for a spot of salmon fishing, including bag limits and rod limits.

“The last thing that we want to be doing is seizing people's fishing equipment and writing out offences for easily avoidable offences. If you want to catch a salmon or trout at the river mouth, get a licence – it’s that simple.”

Additional Notes:

• A sportsfishing licence is required for any sportsfish angling in freshwater.

Under the Conservation Act 'freshwater' means—

o (a) all waters of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, lagoons, wetlands, impoundments, canals, channels, watercourses, or other bodies of water whether naturally occurring or artificially made:

o (b) all waters of estuaries or coastal lagoons:

o (c) all other fresh or estuarine waters where freshwater fish indigenous to or introduced into New Zealand are found:

o (d) all waters in the mouth of every river or stream, and the mouth of every river and stream shall be deemed to include every outlet thereof and the seashore between those outlets and the waters of the sea or lying within a distance of 500 metres from any place where at low tide the waters of a river or stream meet the waters of the sea

• With the exception of the Leith mouth, a licence is not required for salmon fishing at the top of the habour basin or elsewhere in the harbour.


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