DOC is proposing changes to the Taupo District Trout Fishery Licences, Fees, and Forms Notice, and the Taupo District Anglers Notice, to improve recreational fishing participation in Taupo. We want to know what you think by 12 March 2017.
The number of anglers fishing in Taupo has halved since the late 1980s, 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 Taupo fishery will help us maintain a healthy fish population and create more fishing opportunities for everyone.
The 2013 Taupo Sports Fishery Review, Exploring future opportunities for the Taupo Fishery, made several recommendations to improve the fishery. The currently proposed 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 aim of this review of the Taupo District Trout Fishery Licences, Fees, and Forms Notice, and the Taupo District Anglers Notice is to:
- ensure that the Taupo fishery is responsive to the needs of anglers
- reduce compliance and management costs associated with the fishery
- increase consistency with Fish and Game’s approach
- ensure that the fishery is run in a more cost-effective manner
- grow angler participation and experience.
See Rules and regulations for the current licences, fees and forms notice, and angler’s notice.
Reduce the minimum legal trout length from 400mm to 350mm, and increase the daily bag limit from 3 trout to 6
Taupō trout size and condition has been variable over the past decade. Since 2000 our monitoring shows harvest of trout has declined by half and current managers believe greater harvest is needed to help ensure trout size and condition are maintained. Trout feed on smelt, their main prey, but the smelt populations in the lake are currently under sustained pressure from trout predation. The current restrictions were appropriate when harvest was higher. Allowing anglers to harvest more fish will help relieve the pressure on smelt, which may result in improved size and condition of trout in the fishery.
Reduce stream mouth fishing restrictions from 300 m to 200 m
Fishery Management believe by reducing the fly fishing only water from 300 to 200 metres from stream mouths will create more fishing opportunities without overly impacting on stream mouth fly fishing.
200m is proposed to be enough separation distance to ensure that there will be no conflict between ground based anglers and those in boats and will be measured from a fixed land mark post.
This change will also create better alignment with Eastern Region Fish and Game’s stream mouth restrictions..
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 Taupo fishery.
This change aims to clarify what acceptable fishing techniques are within the fishery and to grow fly fishing participation.
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+) 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.
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 sales, 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? 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.
The angler’s notice and licences help us manage the fishery so people can enjoy Taupo’s world class trout fishing experiences, so we are keen to hear from you.
What happens next?
After we get feedback from the fishing community, we’ll consider everyone’s suggestions and draft the new licences, fees and forms notice, and angler’s notice. If approved by the Minister of Conservation, they will come into effect on 1 July 2017.