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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 Taupō district.

Note: If you’re a recreational fisher, selling any fish or shellfish you catch is illegal. You can get a sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 or both.

When you need a licence and how to get one.

Freshwater fishing

Rules and regulations for the region you want to fish.

Fishing rules

Felt-soled waders are banned because they spread didymo (rock snot).

Felt-soled waders are banned

Where you can and cannot fish

There are great fishing spots all over NZ, but there are also 44 marine reserves where fishing of any kind is not allowed.

Marine reserves and other protected areas

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 & Game New Zealand but cannot be used in the Taupō Fishing District.

Fishing licence information

Whitebaiting regulations

The whitebait fishing season opens on 1 September and closes on 30 October (inclusive), except for the Chatham Islands where it opens on 1 December and closes on the last day of February (inclusive).

New regulations, introduced by the Department of Conservation in 2021, will help reduce fishing pressure on these native fish. Following these regulations is an important part of ensuring the future of whitebait species.

Whitebaiting information and regulations — Department of Conservation

Taupō Fishing District

The Taupō fishery includes:

  • Lake Taupō
  • the catchment area for Lake Taupō
  • the Waikato River down to Huka Falls
  • Lake Moawhango
  • Lake Otamangakau.

The Taupō fishery does not include Lake Rotoaira.

About the Taupō fishery and updates

You cannot use your Fish & Game New Zealand licence in the Taupō fishery area.

Find out about buying a Taupō fishing licence.

Taupō fishing licences

Guide to fishing regulations for the Taupō Fishing District including where and when you can fish.

Taupō District fishery regulations

Information about river and lake access.

Maps and access

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).

Māori customary fisheries

Utility links and page information

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