Fuseworks Media

Canterbury anglers stay close to home, new data from Fish & Game NZ shows

The 2021-2022 National Angler Survey conducted by Niwa for Fish & Game has just been released.

With some of the best fishing options in the country, this survey shows that Canterbury anglers really know their area is the pick of the bunch.

The survey, conducted every seven years, records angling activity for all lake, river and canal fisheries managed by Fish & Game and collects data on the number of angling days (one angler fishing on one day, irrespective of the number of hours spent fishing). Some 15,000 people were surveyed from December 2021 to October 2022.

North Canterbury Fish & Game Chief Executive Dr Rasmus Gabrielsson says “The North Canterbury region has some of the most diverse fishing options for freshwater anglers. From world-renowned brown trout fisheries in the Canterbury High Country to popular lake fisheries and the chance to try and catch a wild sea-run salmon, anglers in Canterbury have it all!”

North Canterbury Fish & Game sold 13,152 licences during the survey period: 73% of these were NZ resident adult whole season style or winter licences; 17% were day licences.

The population of anglers in North Canterbury is equal to approximately 2.6% of the residential population.

86% of angling effort on waterbodies in North Canterbury was attributed to North Canterbury anglers; 14% to anglers from other regions

The most popular waterbody in North Canterbury was the Waimakariri River, followed by the Rakaia River and Lake Coleridge.

In North Canterbury, salmon angling in the Waimakariri and Rakaia Rivers accounts for 31.5% of the region’s total angling effort.

Nationally the survey shows far more people getting out fishing in the South Island compared to the North Island, with 77 per cent of angling activity occurring in the South Island and 23% in the North Island.

About 92,000 angling licences were sold in New Zealand for the survey period – down by around 10 per cent from the last survey, likely due to Covid lockdowns and international travel restrictions – almost 97 per cent of angler days were attributed to New Zealand resident’s long term season licences. Total angler usage was 991,700 angler days – 38 per cent of angler days were for lakes, and 62 per cent were for rivers and hydro canals.

Other key findings were:

– The top three lakes to fish managed by Fish & Game were Rotoiti in the Bay of Plenty, Benmore in Canterbury and Wakatipu in Otago. Rotoiti and Benmore each had more than 30,000 angler days, and Wakatipu got more than 26,000.

– The top three rivers were the Clutha in Otago, with 30,985, followed by the Waimakariri (30,525) and the Rakaia (19,187), both in North Canterbury.

– The Central South Island hydro canals were very popular: Ohau C (32,655), Ohau B (29,257), and then Pukaki Ohau A (26,211).


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