Tarawera trout fishing at dusk
Image: Bay of Plenty Regional Council | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Saturday 2 October marks the start of the 2021-2022 trout fishing season on lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Ōkataina.

Date:  30 September 2021

The opening of the fishing season is an annual cause for celebration among anglers and 2021 is no exception, says Fish & Game officer Matt Osborne. 

“Opening is a great time for families to come together, enjoy the lakes and catch a trout or two in the process. It’s good for the soul,” he says.

This year, a change to the regulations sees these three Rotorua lakes opening on the first Saturday in October, Saturday the 2, not the traditional 1 October. The move has been introduced by the Eastern Fish and Game Council to allow participation by fishers who wouldn’t be able to take part during the week. Fish & Game urges anglers to check their regulation guides to ensure they are up to date with the new rules.

Fish & Game staff will be monitoring the fishing and conducting licence checks, while biosecurity staff from Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and DOC will be ensuring biosecurity measures are adhered to and reminding visitors to care for Aotearoa by not cutting down trees, toileting appropriately and removing your rubbish.

Biosecurity staff from Te Arawa Lakes Trust will be monitoring vessels at boat ramps. Anglers are asked to ensure they have checked their fishing tackle for pest weed fragments and fish eggs, clean the gear to kill any microscopic spores and eggs and then leave it to dry before transferring to a new waterway, says Bay of Plenty Biosecurity officer Te Wakaunua Te Kurapa.

“Catfish and multiple weed species are already present in particular Rotorua lakes. These pest species have a detrimental effect on both native fish and trout. It’s vital that we don’t make the situation worse by introducing new pests to the region like didymo or koi carp or cause the further spread of pests already here.”

Anyone found guilty of breaching the Biosecurity Act 1993 could be convicted and fined up to $5000.

DOC Supervisor Carrie Abbott says everyone wants anglers to have a safe and enjoyable time on the lakes.

“The opening of the fishing season is a positive event for anglers and it’s important that everybody plays their part in making it a success by behaving responsibly and respecting other lake users.”

Rangers on the lake last year reported generally good behaviour, with only a few complaints of camping in unauthorised areas, excessive drinking and lighting fires which have the potential to get out of control and cause tragedy.

“While many anglers choose to sleep on their boats or in designated camping areas, there is a lot of privately owned land around the lakes and anglers need to be respectful by not trespassing.”

On Tarawera, boat users can access toilets and camp at Hot Water Beach, Humphries Bay, and Te Tapahoro (Tarawera Outlet). There is currently no road access to Te Tapahoro for boat launching.   

Contact tracing QR codes will be placed at all DOC campgrounds.

More information

Fishing regulations, licences, fees and forms

Check, Clean, Dry. Freshwater pests can be spread by your activities in and around waterways.


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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