HomeSouthlandSouthland: Where to fishLake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau


Lake Te Anau’s extensive eastern shore offers boat ramps and shoreline access for both spin and flyfishing and excellent boat fishing for a good population of trout and a few small salmon.

Fish type Brown trout, rainbow trout and a few landlocked salmon.

The South Island’s largest lake, Te Anau extends 60km from its southern outlet near Lake Manapouri to its northern tip at the famed Milford Track.

The lake’s western shore is rugged and bush-covered, with two fiords extending into the Fiordland mountains, while the farmed eastern side is straighter, drier and grass covered.


Access map

Check conditions

View the lake level.

View the MetService weather forecasts.


For sheltered spinning, try the eastern shore from the Rodeo Ground next to Te Anau township, or any access point from there up to Te Anau Downs harbour.

From a boat, trolling is deservedly popular at the lake outlet or the stretch of eastern shore from the township to Patience Bay. Most fishing from the shore is done by spinning though there can be good fly fishing around stream mouths where they enter the lake.

Fish can be hard to spot but the shallow delta at the mouth of the Eglinton offers good visibility.

Fish numbers and size 1-3kg. Brown trout are more numerous but rainbows more readily caught. Salmon are rare, although quinnat salmon numbers are increasing.

Road access

Lakeside access is plentiful off SH94 from Te Anau up to Milford Sound. A gravel road from Te Anau Downs harbour takes you to the Eglinton River confluence. Boat access

Either from Te Anau township at the southern edge, or at Te Anau Downs harbour, 29km from Te Anau on SH94. See the Lake Te Anau access map.

Methods Spinning, trolling, harling and flyfishing.
Recommended lures

Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear, Sandy Case Caddis.

Dry flies:
Coch-y-Bondhu, Green beetle, Adams

Wet flies / Streamers:
Red Setter, Hairy Dog, Mrs Simpson, Craig’s Night Time.

Spinners: Green and brown Cobras, Black and Gold Tobys, Rapalas and Tasmanian Devils


Tributaries to Lake Te Anau include:
- Upukerora River
- Eglinton River
- Clinton River

- Glaisnock River

- Worsley River

Regulations (1)
Applicable to Lake Te Anau: Excluding Ettrick Burn, Eglinton and Upukerora rivers
Region Southland regulations
Season Trout: All year
Salmon: 1 Jun-31 Mar
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit Total: 4
Salmon: 1
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Lake Te Anau along the shoreline from the Upukerora Mouth to the Control Gates, (but excluding the areas around the Real Journeys wharves)
Region Southland regulations
Season All year to junior and child anglers only
Methods Artificial fly, spinner and bait from the shoreline only
Bag limit Total: 2
Salmon: 1
Size limit (cm) No limit
Regulations (3)
Applicable to Lake Te Anau: The portion that lies within 100m of any part of the wharf of the Real Journeys Company's office in the township of Te Anau.
Region Southland regulations
Season Closed
Methods None
Bag limit 0
Size limit (cm) N/A
Regulations (4)
Applicable to Lake Te Anau tributaries
Region Southland regulations
Season Trout: 1 Nov-30 April
Salmon: 1 Nov-31 Mar
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit Total: 2
Salmon: 1
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region