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

A call for anglers’ help

Since I know there are lots of anglers and hunters on the rivers, I’d like to ask you all for a favour that will help the world’s most threatened gull species – the NZ black-billed gull.


Will Spry Fishing Report Jul 2014

For those not so keen on braving the ice and cold, there are still a number of items that might need attention in the winter months, in front of the fire. It is an excellent time to re-spool some new line, wash and maintain your current equipment or even tie up a few flies for the spring and summer.


NZFFA President's Piece Jul 2014

NZFFA president David Haynes discusses Conservation Minister Nick Smith's address to the NZ Fish & Game Council.