(Images of CCC [Check Clean Dry] Didymo bottles distributed around various Tongariro River angler access tracks.)
At this time of the season heading towards the end of summer fishing, many of the tourist anglers have been and gone but regularly remind us as they leave about the farce of needing to have two licences…
*DOC – “Department of Conservation” – are still the managers of the Taupo Fishery.
The rest of NZ fresh water fishery is managed by Fish & Game.
Tourist anglers imagine this peculiar arrangement is just a ploy to squeeze more licence fees out of them. Every angler we know wants a one fee structure.
This was even recommended in DOC’s own Fishery Review but has not happened. Why?
The 2013 study by APR Consultants, commissioned as part of the Taupo Fishery review process, confirmed the importance of the Fishery to the economic and social wellbeing of the region, with an annual economic contribution of up to $29m per annum (in 2013) and close to 300 jobs dependent on it.
They went on to say:
In particular we believe that there are obvious opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the Department’s relationships with Fish and Game (given they are in the same ‘business’).
Currently the relationship appears to be disjointed and ‘competitive’ rather than collaborative. There are also opportunities to develop stronger relationships with the tourism and wider business sector in the region (for mutual benefit)…
Under “OPPORTUNITIES” the report suggested:
Working Effectively with Anglers and Increasing Participation
In relation to the existing licencing system:
Put in place an on-line system in close collaboration with Fish and Game;
Develop a national licence option;
- Offer a fuller range of licence options, with the priority being a family licence, a weekend licence, and a 12 month licence;
- Consider ways to support charter boat operators in the development of a boat licence concept; and
- More actively promote the fact that licence fees pay for fishery management.
The report went on to say:
Critically, if the management of the Fishery ‘gets it right’ and the result is increasing angler satisfaction and participation in fishing, then the Fishery as a whole will benefit through more available resources for long-term management.
Amazingly, five years later, anglers often remind us of the promises and hopes and opportunitites identified in the 2013 Taupo Fishery Review – which shows their passion and concern for this fishery.
They suggest it is just a shame there are not more dedicated people in DOC Head Office to follow through on the report…