Whitebait, probably Galaxias maculatus, from Te Oka Stream
Image: Angus McIntosh, University of Canterbury | ©

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


Next week, for the first time, the whitebaiting season will start on 1 September for all New Zealand except the Chatham Islands.

Date:  24 August 2022

Department of Conservation (DOC) Whitebait Fishery Manager Nick Moody encourages whitebaiters to check the regulations so they’re familiar with new rules introduced to achieve a more sustainable whitebait fishery.

“Visit the DOC website for a run-down of the regulations or pick up a brochure from your nearest DOC visitor centre or district office.

“Knowing the rules will make for a better time down at the river and will help to take pressure off whitebait species, particularly those that are most threatened.”

From this year onwards, the whitebaiting season will run from 1 September to 30 October. Last year, DOC introduced new rules including changes to fishing gear and spacing along the river.

Nick Moody says work to improve the management of the whitebait fishery is ongoing and whitebaiters can expect to see DOC rangers down by the river collecting data to inform good management decisions.

“We’re also keen to hear from whitebaiters. This season, we’ll carry out a survey asking whitebaiters for feedback on the implementation of the regulation and the quality of their fishing experience.”

Previously, the majority of New Zealand’s whitebaiting season ran from 15 August to 30 November, while the West Coast season ran from 1 September to 14 November.

The Chatham Islands are an exception to the new regulations and will retain their whitebaiting season of 1 December until the last day of February.


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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