The lakes and rivers of Fiordland offer excellent fishing for brown and rainbow trout. Find out where you can fish and all about fishing licences and conditions, didymo controls, restrictions and clean gear certificates.

Places to fish 

Listed here are some of the popular areas to go fishing in Fiordland. When crossing private land to access rivers, please ask for permission from landowners first.

Milford area

  • Milford Road - Eglinton River, Cleddau River
  • Milford Track - rivers and lakes, but note strict conditions for didymo controls in this area.

Hollyford area

Te Anau area

  • Lake Te Anau
  • Waiau River - access via Rainbow Reach, Balloon Loop, Queens Reach
  • Ettrick Burn - in the Murchison Mountains; fishing by ballot. See 'Fishing licences and regulations' below.
  • For junior anglers - Lake Henry in Ivon Wilson Park. Licences are available online (free).

Manapouri area

Fishing competition

Consider trying your hand in the local Te Anau fishing competition, held in October each year.

Fishing licences and regulations

Wherever you choose to go fishing, you need to have a fishing licence which you can get from:

  • Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
  • One of the approved cleaning stations - see list below
  • Fish and Game NZ

Ensure you are aware of current fishing season dates, regulations and catch limits. See:

Officers do regularly check fishing areas for compliance and fines of up to $5000 may apply if you are fishing and cannot produce your licence (and clean gear certificate if applicable).

Didymo controls for anglers

There are special conditions in place to protect Fiordland National Park from further spread of the freshwater weed didymo (Didymosphenia geminata):

For didymo controls for Fiordland National Park, see prepare for your trip to Fiordland.

To fish in many rivers and lakes in Fiordland National Park, you need to have:

  1. A current fishing licence - see 'Fishing licences and regulations' above
  2. A Clean Gear Certificate for all gear from an approved cleaning station, obtained within 48 hours prior to fishing
  3. An approved didymo cleaning kit. The cleaning kit must include; a bucket (minimum size of 8 litres), scrubbing brush, spray bottle, cleaning solution and a measuring cup. Use it to clean all equipment when moving between waterways within these areas.

Exceptions to these special conditions are: Eglinton River, Hollyford River, Cleddau River and their respective tributaries, also lakes Te Anau, Manapōuri, Monowai and Hauroko. Note that the Upper Waiau River and the Monowai River are outside Fiordland National Park so are also excluded.

Regardless of which rivers or lakes you use, we ask that all waterway users check, clean and dry all equipment before moving from one waterway to another.

Note that felt waders are banned in all areas of Fiordland National Park as trials have shown it is impossible to completely remove spores from this equipment. The fine may be up to $5000 for using these in controlled areas.

Approved cleaning stations for Clean Gear Certificates

DOC Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre - Te Anau
Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, open daily
Ph: +64 3 249 7924

Fish & Game NZ - Te Anau
Manapouri-Te Anau Highway, Te Anau, by appointment
Ph: +64 3 249 8249
Outside Sports - Te Anau
Te Anau town centre, open 9 am - 6 pm daily

Manapouri Motors - Manapouri
Cathedral Drive, Manapouri, 8 am - 6 pm Mon - Fri, 9 - 5.30pm Sat/Sun

Borland Lodge - Monowai
Borland Rd, Monowai, by appointment
Ph: +64 3 225 5464

B&B Sports - Gore
Main St, Gore, 8.30 am - 5.30 pm Mon/Tues, 8.30 am - 5.30 pm Fri, 9.30 am - 1 pm Sat

Fish & Game NZ - Invercargill
North Rd, Invercargill, 9 am - 4 pm week days
Ph: +64 3 215 9117

DOC Mt Aspiring National Park Visitor Centre – Wanaka
Ardmore Street, Wanaka, by appointment
Ph: +63 3 443 7660

Scuba Steve – Wanaka
20 Achilles Place, Wanaka, by appointment
Ph: +63 3 443 4954

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