Fishing Season ‘Perfect Family Adventure’ Says Fish & Game

  • 29/09/2016

Thousands of anglers will head out to the country’s lakes rivers and streams on Saturday (October 1) for the first day of the new freshwater fishing season – with Fish & Game predicting it will be a “real family affair.”

NEW FISH SEASON ONE Erin Garrick 0It’s the first time for five years that the October 1 start of the trout and salmon season has fallen on a weekend – and school holidays are in full swing.

Right: Fish & Game Field Officer Erin Garrick repairs an access sign on the Mataura River.

Staff have been out over winter checking on signs, access paths and talking with land owners to ensure that licenceholders have access to the country’s many great fishing spots.

Fish & Game Communications Manager Don Rood says the timing of the weekend opening is great for families.

“It means that rather than the keen anglers in the household having to take a day off work, or sneaking out early to fish, the whole family can head out together for an outdoors adventure with the prospect of taking home some fresh wild food for the barbecue or smoker,” says Mr Rood.

“The start of the season always brings a get-together of family members and fishing mates, but this time round the Saturday kick off will really give that camaraderie a boost.”

And the chances of catching trout for the table are looking good.

“It has been a relatively mild winter in many areas and that means a good survival rate of both adult and newly hatched trout,” says Don Rood.

In parts of the North Island, while recent rain has affected some rivers, further south, conditions look good.

NEW FISH SEASON TWO In the Rotorua lakes, anglers have the chance to hook a tagged trout worth $10,000.

“This is a great opportunity and of course, children have just as much chance of hooking the winning fish as anyone else. If they do, it will be a school holiday break they will never forget.”

They don't come much bigger...Grant Holmes with a beautiful brown in the South Island.

Fish & Game has made it easier to take the family fishing with the family licence, which allows parents and their children to fish together.

There is also a range of new licence categories, including those catering for older anglers and those wanting to fish in just their home region rather than the whole country.

Fish & Game is warning those considering not buying a licence to think again.

“As usual, Fish & Game rangers will be out in force checking licences over coming days, so anglers need to make sure they have their licences, are fishing where they are supposed to be, and not exceeding their catch limits.

“Buying a licence is easy – it takes only a couple of minutes on the Fish & Game website. Get it wrong by fishing without a licence and things get expensive,” Don Rood warns.

Anglers are urged to double check if the area they are planning to fish this weekend is actually open to fishing.

“Not all streams and rivers are open on October 1 and the season on more sensitive and remote areas in the backcountry won’t begin until November, or even December for some places,” says Don Rood.

Mr Rood says that anglers are unsure, they should check the Fish & Game website or with their local Fish & Game regional office.

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