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Southland Ettrick Burn Backcountry Fishery

Open Season: 1 Nov – 31 May
Methods: Fly and Spin
Bag Limit: 1

The Ettrick Burn is situated within the Murchison Mountains Special Takahe Area managed by the Department of Conservation and access is restricted.  Access for anglers has been negotiated for you by Fish and Game and is regulated by a booking system for the sole purpose of fishing within the restricted area. The area extends from the confluence of the Ettrick Burn with Lake Te Anau to the upstream limit of Log Cabin Slip (NZ Topo 50-CC07 796753) approximately 7 km upstream. Angler access is not permitted upstream of this point. 


The reach of river above the gorge is suitable for fit and experienced backcountry anglers only.
A Controlled Fishery Booking System is in place on the Ettrick Burn throughout the angling season (1 Nov – 31 May). Please refer to the Ettrick Burn Controlled Fishery Booking information page on this website for further details (see link below).

Protect our National Parks

Due to the presence of didymo in the Ettrick Burn no Clean Gear Certificate is required to fish it. However it is essential that anglers wishing to subsequently fish other Fiordland waters first return to Te Anau get a Clean Gear Certificate from the Department of Conservation’s Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre. For further information and alternate Certificate providers please phone 03 249 7924 or visit the  DOC website.
You may also refer to the NZ Biosecurity website for information on procedures to manage the spread of unwanted freshwater organisms.

Etiquette for Ettrick Anglers

  1. Remember that while you are on the Ettrick you are fishing a special river, and angler actions and behaviour will largely dictate future of your access that Fish and Game has worked hard to obtain for you.

  2. Should you encounter Takahe, keep sufficient distance from them so that they are not disturbed. Blue Duck / Whio are present on the river, again do not disturb.

  3. When releasing fish, do so with great care and try to keep the fish in the water as much as possible.

Compliance Monitoring

Fish and Game look forward to your cooperation in the management of this fishery that we have negotiated access for you.
Fish and Game will be monitoring compliance on the Ettrick backcountry fishery during the season. Non-compliance with the Backcountry Licence and Controlled Fishery Booking requirements is an offence under the Conservation Act and subject to a maximum fine of $5000. Infringing anglers will be prosecuted.


If you require further assistance please contact us at:
Southland Fish and Game Council
159 North Road
PO Box 159
Phone: (03) 215 9117
Fax: (03) 215 9118