Freshwater fishing in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the world's great fishing countries. Trout are big and plentiful throughout the country. Lakes, rivers, backcountry stream and spring creeks all offer fantastic opportunities to enjoy fishing at its very best. In the South Island you can also fish for salmon in many places. Most waters in New Zealand are in the public domain. Many are easily accessed via public right of way and the Queens Chain. Others can usually be visited through landowner permission.

Rainbow and brown trout exist in abundance in most waters. A variety of fishing methods can be used to catch them. Please be aware of local regulations regarding seasons, catch limits, licensing laws and fishing methods. Fishing in New Zealand is administered by local Fish & Game departments. Each region has a section on this website that will keep you up to date with local news, regulations, fishing licence agents and more. If you are heading to a region you are unfamiliar with, please take a moment to visit the local section of this website.

Always make sure you have a current freshwater fishing licence. Licences can be bought at local retail outlets in the region you are fishing, or online.

Fish & Game New Zealand is proud to support angling clubs from around the country. You can read their monthly newsletters on the New Zealand Federation of Fresh Water Anglers website here. You can find details of fishing or angling clubs local to you on this website, by clicking on your local region on the map above, and then visting the 'local fishing clubs' link in the right hand menu.

Fishing News & Events

East coast rivers ‘fire up’ as trout launch into spawning runs

Anglers on the east coast of the North Island are reporting some great fishing as trout settle into their spawning runs.

The Ruakituri is one river that’s been “on fire” over the last couple of months, according to  Fish & Game’s Eastern Region.


Exciting times for anglers in Rotorua, as trout launch their spawning runs

Good news for anglers – recent rains have boosted the number of trout making their spawning runs up Rotorua rivers.


Weed Spraying Notice - Rotorua Lakes

Boffa Miskell have recently advised that boat-based weed spraying will occur from May 18-29th in lakes Rotorua at Kawaha Point, Rotoehu at Otautu and Kennedy’s Bays, and Okataina at the main beach, the Log pool, Paremata Bay, South-West Corner, Otangimoana Bay and Kaikakahi Bay.