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Trout and salmon fishing season opens

October 1st is the beginning of the summer trout and salmon fishing season. They are fresh water fish, found in many New Zealand rivers and lakes. They are not native to New Zealand. Trout were brought to New Zealand from Europe in the 1860s and salmon came from California in the early 1900s.

To fish for trout or salmon, you need a licence. There are rules you need to know and they are not the same for all rivers. There is a limit on the number of fish you can catch in one day and the size of fish you are allowed to keep. There are also rules about using sports-like methods, for example no nets for catching the fish. This is a sport so it needs to be a challenge.

There are also informal rules about good manners when you fish near other people. Watch what other people do, or ask someone who knows about fishing. If you need to cross a farm, you should ask permission from the farmer first. It is polite to say “thank you” at the end of the day. Always leave the gates the same as you find them i.e. if a gate is open, leave it open, if it is closed, close it after you walk through.

Although you can fish in some places during the winter, the warmer months are better. Many rivers are only open in the summer, from October until April.


• challenge – something that is difficult to do but you want to try
• informal – usually not written rules