Fishing Code of Conduct
courtesy of Fish & Game NZ

Please consider the rights of others and observe the anglers’ code of conduct while freshwater fishing in New Zealand:

  • If no Fish & Game access sign is present, always ask permission from the land occupier before crossing private property.

  • Do not park vehicles so that they obstruct gateways or cause a hazard on the road or access way.

  • Do not interfere with livestock, crops, machinery, or other property.
    Always use gates, stiles or other recognised access points and avoid damage to fences.

  • When driving on riverbeds keep to marked tracks or park on the bank and walk to your fishing spot.

  • Always fish in an ethical manner.

  • Never push in on a pool occupied by another angler. If you are in any doubt, ask those already there whether it is okay to join them.

  • Always enter a pool behind the direction being fished by any angler already there.

  • Move upstream or downstream with every few casts (unless you are alone).

  • Avoid unnecessary wading or any avoidable disturbance to the water.

  • Fish being returned to the water should be released as carefully and quickly as possible. Remove the hook and return the fish facing upstream until it swims away.

  • Fish being retained should be killed as quickly as possible by a blow to the head with a rock (or similar tool), or by cutting the fish’s throat with a knife.

  • Always respect the environment, wildlife, other anglers, and members of the public.

  • Remove waste nylon and personal litter from the riverbanks and parking places.

  • Leave everything as you found it. If a gate is open or closed leave it that way.

  • The only way we can protect our rivers in the long term is to CHECK, CLEAN and DRY all your gear before entering another river or lake anywhere in New Zealand. Didymo and other aquatic pests are adversely affecting New Zealand fresh waterways.

  • Remember to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself!