Too many trout prompts new fishing rules

The new fishing season brings a new "family" license and new catch limits to Lake Taupo.

The new fishing season brings a new "family" license and new catch limits to Lake Taupo.

The Taupo trout fishery is thought to be overstocked, preventing trout from growing to a very large size.

To counter the problem the number of trout that people are allowed to catch [bag limit] is being increased and the size limit is being reduced.

The new rules should increase the number of fish being harvested when the 2017/2018 season starts on July 1.

The daily bag limit is increasing from three fish to six fish and the minimum acceptable fish size is being dropped from 40cm to 35cm. Fish smaller than 35cm must be thrown back.

Fishery manager Dave Conley said the rule change would increase the number of trout being harvested from the lake, which should, in turn, help more trout grow bigger.

"Over the last decade, we've seen a slight downward trend in size and quality, which would point to a high trout population placing pressure on their food source," he said.

Rod and Tackle fishing shop owner Mathew Pate said the rule changes made sense.

"There's only so much smelt.

"If there are too many trout, they can't eat enough to grow big."

A new fishing licence category is also being introduced to help make angling more affordable for families.

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The family whole-season licence covers two adults and four children (or grandchildren) until July 2018.

At $149, the family licence will cost significantly less than buying two adult season licences ($99 each) and multiple child licences ($12.50 each).

The cost of an adult season licence is increasing from $90 to $99 – the first increase in six seasons.

A new "seniors" season licence [$90] for people aged 65 and older on July 1 is being introduced to keep fishing affordable to older people.

Stream mouth fly-fishing only restrictions [the distance boats must stay from stream mouths] is being decreased from 300 metres to 200m, which is in keeping with regulations in other Fish & Game regions.

A post with white, black and yellow rings will indicate a zone within 200m from the river mouth – a zone where only fly fishermen will be permitted to fish.

Fishery rule changes were made following consultation between DOC, Tuwharetoa Maori Trust Board, the Taupo Fishery Advisory Committee, and Destination Great Lake Taupo.

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 - Stuff


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