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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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Licences and Seasons

The Wildlife Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs administers the Southern Lakes, Taupo, and Rotorua Fishing Districts. All other districts are administered by acclimatisation societies who are responsible to the Marine Department which controls freshwater fishing under the Fisheries Act of 1908. Most New Zealanders treat fishing as a sport and do not join clubs or other organisations. Hence there is no national society of fishing clubs organising all anglers in New Zealand, but there are a number of good clubs in various districts. Perhaps the biggest and best known is the Tongariro and Lake Taupo Angling Club, based at Turangi.

Licence fees for all fishing districts are usually £2 10s. a season for men, £1 5s. for women, and 7s. 6d. for juveniles, except at Taupo where the fees are £3 10s. for men, 2 for women, and 7s. 6d. for juveniles. For overseas anglers visiting New Zealand there is a universal licence fee of £2 for men and 1 for women; this permits fishing anywhere in New Zealand. The acclimatisation society fishing licences do not allow anglers to fish in those districts controlled by the Wildlife Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs. For these a separate licence is required.

The fishing season in all acclimatisation society districts, except Nelson, is from 1 October to 30 April. The Nelson season opens 15 October and closes 15 April. The Southern Lakes season extends from 1 October to 30 April. Tributaries of the main lakes have a season from 1 October to 31 May and all other waters of the district from 1 November to 31 May. The Lake Rotorua season is from 1 July to 30 June; all other waters in the Rotorua Fishing District are from 1 October to 30 June. The Taupo fishery season extends all the year round. There are other minor restrictions, such as fly fishing on certain waters only, but information relating to these matters is clearly stated on licence forms.

by Cyril Thomas Bunt, formerly Journalist, Information and Press Section, Tourist and Publicity Department.