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Whanganui River Trout Fishing: Lower Reaches

Although the water quality in the lower reaches of the Whanganui River deteriorates, there is some spin fishing available. What is always worth exploring however are the many small tributaries that flow into the river as these are remote and seldom fished.


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Fish type, number and size Brown and rainbow trout in reasonable numbers.

The large 220km Whanganui River runs from rugged bush country west of Lake Otamangakau towards Taumarunui. Downstream from Taumarunui and the Ongarue River confluence, the Whanganui River runs in a southerly direction through the Whanganui National Park to the mouth at Wanganui.

The section of the river within the Taranaki Fish & Game region is described here. The headwater, upper and middle reaches lie within the Auckland/Waikato region - see Whanganui River upper reaches.


Lower mid Whanganui River maps

Access map
Access map with topography

Lower Whanganui River maps

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

F&G pamphlet Whanganui (Wanganui) River Sports access pamphlet >>>
Check conditions

River flow, level and rainfall

View graphs at the Horizons Regional Council website

Weather forecast

View the MetService weather forecast for Wanganui.


The water in the lower reaches of the Whanganui River is brownish and is often silt-laden, but offers spin fishing for a reasonable stock of trout. The river is popular for kayaking, rafting and canoeing.

Some sea run brown trout have been caught where the river runs through Wanganui. The occasional salmon has been caught near the mouth, but the mouth is not very interesting to fish.



Roads follow both banks of the river for 15 km from Taumarunui. The river then enters inaccessible bush country in the Whanganui National Park.

Further downstream there is road access at Whakahoro, Pipiriki, Jerusalem and the mouth in Wanganui.

Recommended lures Spinner to use include black and gold or silver Tobys, Cobras, and Rapalas
Applicable to Whanganui River, excluding tributaries, within the Taranaki region
Region Taranaki region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Sept
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Trout: 4
Size limit (cm) None
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Whanganui River within the Auckland/Waikato region: see Whanganui River Trout Fishing: Upper/ Middle Reaches 


Teo Mountains Trout Guide

Two Mountians Trou Guide

Two Mountains Trout Guide

Taumarunui Holiday Park

Go Bush Wilderness Adventures

The Park Hotel Ruapehu

The Park Hotel Ruapehu




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