You need to obey some laws and regulations — these can depend on where and what you’re fishing.
Know the laws and limits
You need a licence to fish for sports fish like trout or salmon. You need a different licence in the Taupo District.
If you're a recreational fisher, selling any fish or shellfish you catch is illegal. You can get a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 or both.
When you need a licence and how to get one.
Rules and regulations for the region you want to fish.
Felt-soled waders are banned because they spread didymo (rock snot).
Where you can and can’t fish
There are great fishing spots all over NZ, but there are also 34 marine reserves where fishing of any kind isn't allowed.
Fishing in conservation areas
Other than marine reserves, you can fish anywhere on conservation land with the right licence.
Your licence is valid in any area administered by Fish and Game New Zealand but can’t be used in the Taupo Fishing District.
The whitebait fishing season opens on 15 August, except for the West Coast where it opens on 1 September.
Taupo Fishing District
The Taupo fishery includes:
- Lake Taupo
- the catchment area for Lake Taupo
- the Waikato River down to Huka Falls
- Lake Moawhango
- Lake Otamangakau.
The Taupo fishery does not include Lake Rotoaira.
Buying a licence, maps and information about river and lake access.
You can’t use your Fish & Game licence in the Taupo fishery area. Find out about buying a licence, regulations, maps and access.
Guide to fishing regulations for the Taupo District including where and when you can fish.
Māori customary fisheries
Being able to provide fish or shellfish to feed whānau (family) or manuhiri (guests) has always been part of the cultural heritage of tangata whenua (people of the land).