Crackdown on unlicensed fishing

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Fishing has been popular on the lakes and rivers over the summer season but people are still being caught without fishing licences, says Otago Fish & Game officer Paul van Klink.

“We are getting a bit of non-compliance with people not having fishing licences, especially tourists.”

When they came to New Zealand, people needed to check what licences were required.

“If you go to another country you’ve always got to check what the rules and regulations are.”

Some tourists came prepared to fish, bringing their own gear, which meant they knew they would be fishing and should be getting a licence.

“Most people, when they get caught, they go ‘ah yeah, that was my bad’.”

Rangers were making spot checks on the rivers and lakes, so it was important for people to bring their licence when fishing, Mr van Klink said.

“We are actively out on the lakes and we are looking for compliance.”

People had also been spin fishing on the Upper Clutha River by Deans Bank, which was a regulation offence.

“That is the section that is fly fishing only.”

People were not reading signs or checking regulations in advance, Mr van Klink said.

It was important for people to respect the rules.

Most people had been really compliant and able to produce a licence when asked, but there were “just a few” who needed to work harder to ensure they met the rules.

There had been “really good” fishing on Lake Hawea and at the top of Lake Dunstan, and people were catching “plenty of fish”.

Anyone wanting more information on gaining a licence or to report any non-compliance could email pvanklink@fishandgame.org.nz or phone Fish & Game on (03) 445-4418