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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

Kaikoura Salmon enhancement underway with release of 8000 fish

Fourth year of project celebrated with salmon release

Kaikoura’s Lyell Creek is not only the name of a famous racehorse but it is also now the home to thousand’s of speedy salmon.


100,000 salmon ova planted in North Canterbury rivers

North Canterbury Fish and Game staff and dozens of volunteers have planted over 100,000 salmon ova (eggs) in the last two weekends.


Lake Pupuke fishery closure

Fish and Game advises a voluntary closure of Lake Pupuke due to a diesel spill

Fish & Game are advising trout anglers not to fish at Lake Pupuke temporarily due to a diesel spill.