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NZ Fish Species

New Zealand is one of the world's great fishing countries. The country offers a variety of fish species, each providing a different fishing experience. Trout are big and plentiful throughout the country. In the South Island you can also fish for salmon in many places. In this section read more about each fish species including behavior, favourite habitats, appearance, origins and average weights.

Brown Trout

The brown trout is an introduced northern hemisphere sports fish and can be found in most New Zealand waters excepting the very north of the North Island.

Rainbow Trout

The rainbow trout was introduced from North America. It is common in rivers and lakes but not as widespread as brown trout. The adult “rainbow” is distinguished by its silver colour and dark olive green back.


The Perch is a deep bodied fish with two large and erect dorsal fins, the first fin having an array of strong and sharp spines. There are two other less obvious spines, one on each gill cover.


Tench are classed as a coarse fish and are usually caught on baits, either worms or prepared baits of bread dough, or even kernels of corn.

Brook Trout (or Brook Char)

The correct name for the Brook Trout is the Brook Char. The brook char is an introduced North American species and the most handsome of our coldwater sportsfish.

Chinook Salmon or Quinnat Salmon

Chinook Salmon, also known as Quinnat Salmon, were successfully introduced to the South Island in 1901. The male and female of the species have different colouring.