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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

World Fish Migration Day a success

Dozens of Canterbury School Children have had a fun filled day at Opawa School in Christchurch getting a hands-on experience of what fish have to go through as they migrate up and down our rivers.


Jail term hits home ‘strong message’ to would be poachers

Fish & Game says the jailing of a second man in a large-scale poaching case – sends a strong message that trout poaching is taken seriously by the courts and would-be poachers need to “take note.”


Special Day for Fish Migration

Canterbury school children and the public will get a hands-on experience on Friday (20 May) of what fish have to go through as they migrate up and down our rivers.