Anglers are being reminded to get a licence to fish Central Otago waters.

Central South Island Fish & Game rangers have discovered 8% non-compliance with sports fishing regulations so far this season.

Since the season began in October 2021, rangers interviewed 592 anglers and detected 48 rule breakers.

The most common offence was fishing without a valid sports fishing licence.

Other offences were: using more than one rod, fishing out of season, being more than 15 metres from their rod, fishing for sea-run salmon without salmon endorsement, failure to produce sea-run salmon endorsement when salmon fishing, exceeding the daily bag limit, causing injury to released fish and using illegal bait.

CSI Fish & Game compliance coordinator Hamish Stevens said 8% non-compliance was higher than would normally be expected.

“It is disappointing that this many anglers are not sticking to the rules. Regulations are put in place to protect fisheries and ensure that the harvest is sustainable so that future generations of anglers can enjoy the fishing experience,” he said.

Sports fishing regulations are published on the Fish & Game New Zealand website and can be found at sports stores.

Mr Stevens said rule breakers could have their gear seized and end up in court.

It was not worth taking the risk and much cheaper and less stressful to get a licence, he said.