Fish & Game New Zealand’s Central South Island region extends from the south bank of the Rakaia River in the north, to Moeraki in the south. With their headwaters in the Southern Alps, the Waitaki and the Rangitata are the region’s biggest rivers. These are noted chinook salmon fisheries with trophy fish of 15kg and more being regularly reported.
Most of New Zealand’s salmon run is contained within the border of the North Canterbury and Central South Island Fish & Game Regions. The Rangitata Mouth is one of the more famous fishing locations in the South Island as very large numbers of salmon are regularly caught here. Salmon fishing in the Waitaki tends to be split amongst mouth and upriver anglers, with fishing from anchored jet boats being a popular option.
Smaller rivers including the Opihi-Temuka, Ashburton and Kakanui together with many high country lakes are habitat to substantial brown and rainbow trout fisheries.
Fontinalis (brook trout) are also present in some of these waters. In fact the Central South Island Region probably offers the best Fontinalis populations in the country, with Lake Emily being renowned as the place in New Zealand to catch a trophy. For sheer numbers of trout, the waters of the McKenzie country are hard to beat. The Tekapo River in particular contains very good numbers of trout which are not overly difficult to catch.
If you catch a tagged fish, please contact the regional Fish & Game office.
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