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Otago Fishing Regulations, 2018-2019

The following is our understanding of the regulations that apply to trout and salmon fishing in the Otago region from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.  Where general rules do not apply, lakes and rivers are listed in alphabetical order for quick reference.

The information presented here is not meant to be taken as a complete statement of the law. Please refer to the South Island regulations booklet supplied with your fishing licence or view an online booklet at the Fish & Game New Zealand website.

Fishing water
Season

Size limit

Bag limit

Methods allowed
General rules        
All fishing waters       Because of the risk of spreading the invasive alga didymo, anglers must clean their fishing gear, waders and boots, especially when moving between rivers. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert.
All Otago fishing waters       When playing a salmon bigger than 450mm, a gaff may be used to secure or land that salmon in the Otago region only.
All waters below the Roxburgh Dam on the Clutha River and all waters running into the sea  

Salmon: 450mm minimum

   
Nevis River   All fish over 400mm shall be returned unharmed to the water    
All waters in which sports fish are held in captivity for display, hatching or other purposes, or within 100m of any part of the outer boundaries of such waters. Closed Not applicable
N/A
None
Lakes Dispute, Hayes, Johnson, Moke and Reid       Fishing from any mechanically propelled boat is prohibited.
Lake Kirkpatrick       No fishing from any boat is permitted
All other lakes in the region not mentioned above       Fishing from boats is permitted. If fishing from a mechanically propelled boat, the boat must stay at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.
All rivers and streams except parts of the Clutha, Matukituki, Kawarau, Taieri and the Waipori (please see below).       Fishing for trout from a boat, canoe, pontoon or flotation device is prohibited.
All tidal reaches of rivers       Fishing for trout from a boat, canoe, pontoon or flotation device is permitted.
Fishing waters        
Akatore Estuary
All year
None
2 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Akatore River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Albert Burn
1 Nov-31 May
None
1 trout
Artificial fly, spinner
Arrow River
1 Nov-31 May
None
1 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Blakelys Dam
1 Nov-15 April
None
1 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bullock Creek, from Lake Wanaka to source
Closed
N/A
N/A
None
Butchers Dam
All year
None
2 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Cardrona River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Caples River

Backcountry licence holders only:
1 Nov-31 May

None
1 trout
Flyfishing only
Careys Creek upstream of rail line bridge
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2 trout and 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Careys Creek downstream of rail line bridge
All year
None
2 trout and 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Catlins Estuary downstream of State Highway No. 92 Bridge
All year
None
4 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Catlins River upstream of State Highway 92 bridge
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Clutha River
Clutha River upstream from Luggate Bridge (except Deans Bank section)
All year
None
2 trout and 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner
Clutha River Deans Bank section (defined by landmark posts 1km below Lake Wanaka and 600m above Albert Town Bridge)
1 Oct-31 May
None
2 trout and 4 salmon
Flyfishing only
Clutha River downstream of Luggate Bridge to Lake Dunstan
All year
None
2 trout and 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Clutha River downstream of the Clyde Dam All year Salmon: 450mm minimum Trout 4
Salmon: 2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Clutha River from Albertown Bridge to the sea       Fishing for trout from a non-mechanically propelled boat, a canoe, pontoon or flotation device is permitted.
Clutha River downstream from Balclutha      

Trolling from a boat which is being mechanically propelled is permitted, provided that the boat stays at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.

Clutha River from below the Roxburgh Dam to the Roxborough Township Bridge       Fishing with a float or floating device on the line is prohibited.
 
Coalpit Dam
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Conroys Dam
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Contour Channel
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Dart River
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Deep Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Diamond Creek
1 Oct - 31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Diamond Lake
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner
Dingle Burn catchment above the bridge on the Dingle Burn Station access road Backcountry licence holders only:
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Dingle Burn catchment below the bridge on the Dingle Burn Station access road

1 Nov-31 May

None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Dispute, Lake
1 Oct-31 May
None
2

Artificial fly, spinner.
Fishing or towing a lure from a mechanically propelled boat is prohibited.

Dunstan, Lake
All year
None
2 trout and 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Falls Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Fraser River
Fraser River       This river is affected by didymo. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.
Fraser River Upper
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Fraser Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Fraser River below dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
 
Glenorchy Lagoons
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Greenstone River above the Slyburn confluence

Controlled Fishery licence holders only: 1st Feb - 31 Mar

None
1
Flyfishing only
Greenstone River upstream of the swingbridge at the car park end of Greenstone Station Road and all tributaries flowing into the Greenstone River including the Caples.

Backcountry licence holders only:
1 Nov-31 May

None
1
Flyfishing only
Greenstone River downstream of the swingbridge to the river mouth where it enters Lake Wakitipu 1 Nov - 31 May (No backcountry licence is required for this section) None 1 Artificial fly, spinner
Hamiltons Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Hawea River
All year
None
2 trout 4 salmon

Artificial fly, spinner.

Hawea, Lake
All year
None
2 trout 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Hayes, Lake
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait.
Fishing or towing a lure from a mechanically propelled boat is prohibited.
Hoffmans Dam
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Hores Control Pond
All year
None
4 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Horne Creek, from Lake Wakatipu to source
Closed
Not applicable
N/A
None
Hunter River
Backcountry licence holders only: 1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Ida Burn Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Johnson, Lake
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait.
Fishing or towing a lure from a mechanically propelled boat is prohibited.
Kaihiku Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Kaikorai Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Kaikorai Estuary downstream of Abbotts Creek confluence
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Kawarau River
All year
None
2 trout 4 salmon

Artificial fly, spinner, bait.

Boats may be used for fishing in the Kawarau River from its source at Lake Wakatipu to Lake Dunstan. But trolling from a mechanically propelled boat is not permitted.

Kirkpatrick, Lake
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner.
Fishing from a boat is prohibited.
Knights Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Kuriwao Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2 Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Kye Burn
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Lee Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Leith: Waters of Leith upstream of the Lindsay Creek confluence including Lindsay Creek Closed N/A N/A N/A
Leith: Waters of Leith upstream from Leith Street foot bridge to the confluence of the Lindsay Creek confluence
1 Oct-30 Apr

Salmon: 450 mm minimum

2 trout 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Leith: Waters of Leith downstream from Leith Street foot bridge
All year
Salmon: 450 mm minimum
2 trout 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Lindis River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
The Lochy River catchment above the confluence with Disputed Creek Backcountry licence holders only:
1 Nov-31 May
None 0 (catch & release only) Flyfishing only
Lochy River downstream from the Disputed Creek confluence
Backcountry licence holders only:1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Flyfishing only
Loganburn Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4 trout
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Maclennan River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Mahinerangi, Lake
All year
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Makarora River upstream of Wilkin River confluence
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Makarora River downstream of Wilkin River confluence
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Manorburn Dam Lower
1 Oct -30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Manorburn Dam Upper
1 Nov-31 May
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Manuherikia and tributaries
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Mathias Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Matukituki River
Matukituki River upstream from Mototapu confluence
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Matukituki River downstream from Mototapu confluence
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Matukituki River from Glenfinnan Stream confluence to Lake Wanaka       Fishing for trout from a non-mechanically-propelled boat, a canoe, pontoon or flotation device is permitted.
 
McAtamney's Head Pond
All year
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Meggat Burn
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
All legal methods
Mill Creek junior fishery upstream of Waterfall Park
Closed to adult anglers. Open only to anglers with a junior or child licence
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Mill Creek(which flows into Lake Hayes), from the Speargrass Flat Road Bridge to the source
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Moke Lake
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner.
Fishing or towing a lure from a mechanically propelled boat is prohibited. Bait now allowed for juniors.
Molyneux Pond
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Motatapu River and tributaries
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Nenthorn Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Nenthorn pond
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Nevis River
1 Oct-30 Apr

400mm
Any fish larger than 400mm to be returned to the water unharmed.

1
Flyfishing only
A backcountry licence is required .
Onslow, Lake
All year
None
10
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Owaka River upstream from SH 92
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Owaka River downstream from SH 92
All year
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Pleasant River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Pomahaka River

Pomahaka River upstream from Park Hill Bridge (Switzers Road) is a backcountry fishery requiring a backcountry licence as well as a season licence

1 Oct-30 Apr
None
1 trout, 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner
Pomahaka River downstream of Swans Bridge (Clydevale Road)
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4 trout 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
 
Poolburn Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2 Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Puerua Estuary downstream of State Highway No. 92 Bridge
All year
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Puerua Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Rees River and tributaries upstream from Muddy Creek
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Flyfishing, spinner
Rees River downstream from Muddy Creek
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Reid Lake
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner.
Fishing or towing a lure from a mechanically propelled boat is prohibited.
Routeburn River and tributaries
1 Nov-31 May
None
0 (catch & release)
Flyfishing only - catch and release only
Roxburgh, Lake downstream from the Highway Bridge at Alexandra to the Roxburgh Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4 trout 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Rutherfords Dam
1 Nov-15 April
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Shag River upstream of SH1 Bridge
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Shag River downstream of SH1 Bridge
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Shotover River
All year
None
2 trout 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Silverstream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Southern Reservoir
All year except for September when it is only available for Fish and Game controlled events
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Styx Weir Pond
All year
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Sullivans Dam
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Sutton Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Sylvan, Lake
All year
None
6
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Tahakopa River upstream of Maclennan River confluence
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Tahakopa River downstream of Maclennan River confluence
All year
None
4 Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Taieri River
Taieri River upstream of Silverstream confluence
1 Oct-30 Apr
Salmon: 450mm minimum
4 trout 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Taieri River downstream of Silverstream confluence
All year
Salmon: 450mm minimum
4 trout 2 salmon Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Taieri River from the bridge on State Highway 1 at Otokia to the sea All year     Trolling from a boat which is being mechanically propelled is permitted, provided that the boat stays at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.
 
Teviot River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Three O'Clock Stream
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2 trout 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Timaru River and tributaries upstream from Timaru Road Bridge
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Timaru River downstream from Timaru Road Bridge
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Tokomairiro River upstream from Coal Gully Road Bridge
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Tokomairiro River downstream from Coal Gully Road Bridge
All year
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Tomahawk Lagoon
All year
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Tuapeka River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Victoria Dam
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Von Lake
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Flyfishing only
Von River and tributaries
1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Flyfishing only.
This river is affected by didymo. See Didymo Biosecurity Alert for details.
Waihola, Lake including the outlet and waterways interconnected with Lake Waipori
All year
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waipahi River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
4
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waipori River and Lake Waipori
Lake Waihola including the outlet and waterways interconected with Lake Waipora
All year
None
4 Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waipori River upstream of Lake Waipori
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waipori River downstream of Lake Waipori All year None 4 Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waipori River downstream from the Contour Channel      

Fishing for trout from a boat, canoe, pontoon or flotation device is permitted.

Trolling from a boat which is being mechanically propelled is permitted, provided that the boat stays at least 100m from any angler fishing from the shore.

 
Waitahuna River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waitati River upstream of Orokonui Stream confluence
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waitati River downstream of Orokonui Stream confluence
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waiwera River
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Wakouati River upstream of State Highway No. 1 Road Bridge
1 Oct-30 Apr
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waikouati River downstream of State Highway No. 1 Road Bridge
All year
None
2
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Lake Wakatipu
Wakatipu, Lake except the areas below
All year
None
2 trout and 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait

Wakatipu, Lake within the waters of Queenstown Bay bounded by a straight line drawn from the outermost point of Queenstown Gardens to the point where the south bank of One Mile Creek meets Lake Wakatipu.

Closed
Not applicable
N/A
None
Wakatipu, Lake within 100m of any part of the wharf in Black Bay (commonly known as the Walter Peak Jetty) Closed Not applicable N/A None
 
Wanaka, Lake except the area below
All year
None
2 trout and 4 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Wanaka, Lake within 150 m of any part of the launch wharf at the township of Wanaka, within 150m of any part of the public jetty at the Wanaka Marina, and anywhere within 150m of the shoreline between the wharf and the jetty
Closed
Not applicable
N/A
None
Waters of Leith upstream from Leith Street foot bridge
1 Oct-30 Apr

Salmon: 450 mm minimum

2 trout 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Waters of Leith downstream from Leith Street foot bridge
All year
Salmon: 450 mm minimum
2 trout 2 salmon
Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Wilkin River
Backcountry licence holders only:1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner
Young River
Backcountry licence holders only:1 Nov-31 May
None
1
Artificial fly, spinner

 

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