Three boating infringements worth a total of $1500 were issued in the Upper Clutha area during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council’s new harbourmaster contractor, Cougar Group Ltd, finished its first peak holiday enforcement period on January 10 satisfied with overall boating behaviour.

Deputy harbourmaster Ricky Campbell, of Cougar Group, said overall behaviour on Upper Clutha water had been good.

The water patrollers had responded to 33 requests for service (RFS) from the public, some of which were referred on to other agencies.

Council communications spokesman Sam White said after reviewing all instances of non-compliance, two tickets were issued for using a powered vessel on the Clutha River during a prohibited period and one ticket was issued for exceeding five knots within 50m of another vessel on Lake Wanaka.

Several people posted on social media about seeing boats and jet-skis in the prohibited area of the Clutha River between the outlet and the Albert Town bridge.

Mr White said the harbourmasters observed low use of powered vessels on that stretch of the Clutha River during the peak period.

The Clutha River restrictions are in force between December 1 and April 30.

Only waterways patrols and commercial operators can operate during that period.

Mr White said life jacket compliance had been “very high”.

Waterways officers had been actively educating people about life jacket rules and speed limits, Mr White said.

Requests for service had been followed up and investigated as required.

“In some cases this resulted in additional targeted patrols.

“Given the high use of waterways over this period we consider the total numbers of RFS, and those on which we have taken further action, has been in keeping with our expectations.”

Safety first:

Boating emergency, life at risk: call 111 and ask for police

Breakdown, need a tow: call Coastguard *500

Wear a life jacket, take fuel and communication gear

Complaints: Do not call the harbourmaster. Urgent: Call QLDC (03) 441-0499. Non-urgent: Lodge a request for service on QLDC website or email