Proposed changes to the Taupō Trout Fishery Licences, Fees and Forms Notice, and Angler’s Notice
The Department of Conservation is exploring opportunities to improve recreational fishing participation in Taupō. The number of anglers fishing in Taupō has halved since the late 1980’s, reflecting a global downward trend. While the fishery is fundamentally in good shape, fewer anglers mean a decline in licence sales, and a decline in licence sales translates to fewer fishing experiences for everyone. Making a few changes to fishing rules and licences for Taupō fishery will help us maintain a healthy fish population and create more fishing opportunities for everyone.
The 2013 Taupō Sports Fishery Review – ‘Exploring future opportunities for the Taupō Fishery’, made several recommendations to improve the fishery. The currently proposed recommended changes will further work towards the goals identified in that review to improve the health of the fishery and grow participation and angler experience.
The current licences, fees and forms notice, and angler’s notice can be viewed at www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/central-north-island/places/taupo-trout-fishery/licences-access-rules-and-regulations/
What changes are being proposed and why?
Description and reason
1. Reduce the minimum legal trout length from 400mm to 350mm, and increase the daily bag limit from 3 trout to 6 Taupō trout size, condition and spawning habits have declined steadily in the past decade.
Trout feed on smelt, their main prey, but the smelt populations in the lake are currently too low to sustain healthy trout.
The current restrictions were appropriate in the 80’s when there were twice as many anglers as there are now.
Allowing anglers to harvest more fish will relieve the pressure on smelt, so they can grow into healthy trout that reach their prime spawning condition earlier.
2. Reduce stream mouth fishing restrictions from 300m to 200m Allowing lake anglers to fish up to 200m from stream mouths will create more fishing opportunities without overly impacting on stream mouth fly fishing.
It will be easier for anglers and fishery staff (therefore reducing compliance costs) anglers like to know that they are fishing in the right place, and can use the current 200m Department of Internal Affairs markers around the lake. Additional markers will be added on more dynamic river mouths, such as the Tongariro River, to ensure that the 200m limit is well marked.
200m is still enough separation distance to ensure that there will be no conflict between ground based anglers and those in boats.
This change will also create better alignment with Eastern Region Fish and Game’s 200m requirements.
3. Amend the definition of fly fishing to add guidance on leader length and fly weight. This proposed change responds to concerns raised about the status of Czech or European nymphing in the fishery. Czech/European nymphing is an internationally recognised method, with an accepted definition and parameters.
Adding a maximum leader length and fly weight will ensure that appropriate fly fishing techniques are used. This will also facilitate compliance as rangers will be able to clearly determine when an angler is legally fishing or not.
This change will also reduce barriers to participation as the growing number of experienced anglers who are using these techniques will have certainty of their status in the Taupō fishery.
This change aims to clarify what acceptable fishing techniques are within the fishery, and to grow fly fishing participation.
4. Add Senior and Family licence classes
Adding a Family season licence (two parents (grandparents) and up to four children (grandchildren)) and a Senior season licence (65 plus) will encourage a wider group of anglers to get involved, and make families fishing as a group a more cost-effective experience.
This change will also create better alignment with Fish and Game licence classes and practices and responds to the recommendations of the fishery review.
6. Change the definition for “child” A “child” will be defined as being under 18 years old, and previous references to them being at school will be deleted.
The new definition will provide clarity for licence holders, reduces loopholes that have led to abuse of the licence category, and will make compliance easier.
What do you think?
How do you feel about the proposed changes? The angler’s notice and licences help us manage the fishery so people can enjoy Taupō’s world class trout fishing experiences, so we are keen to hear from you. Please complete the online survey by 12 March 2017. All of those who complete a survey will go in the draw to win one of five season licences.
Complete the survey Go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/taupoangler and complete the online survey
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