Learn the 'rules' governing fishing in the Taupo district
The 2016 Taupo Fishery Anglers Notice contains rules which all anglers must comply with.
The Taupo Fishery Regulations also contain some additional legal requirements relating to the Taupo Fishery.
Note that penalties apply to people who fish in the Taupo District without a Taupo fishing licence, or fail to comply with the rules and regulations of the fishery.
To familiarise yourself with these legal requirements see:
- Anglers Notice for the Taupo District (PDF, 363K)
- Taupo Fishery Regulations 2004
- Lake Rotoaira The Taupo Fishery Regulations and Angler Notices do not apply at Lake Rotoaira. This lake is managed under the Rotoaira Trout Fishing Regulations 1979. However, a Taupo District Fishing Licence is required to fish there plus access permit is issued by the Lake Rotoaira Trust.
- Minimum size limit Note: minimum size limit is measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail. The Taupo Fishing District: 40 cm, except for the following:
- Waipakihi River upstream of Rangipo dam and Lake Moawhango: no size limit.
- Lake Kuratau and the river upstream of the lake: 30 cm.
- Waikato River between the Taupō control gates and Huka Falls: 35 cm.
- Lake Rotoaira: 35 cm as per the Rotoaira Trout Fishing Regulations 1979.
- Daily bag limit
- On any day, you must stop fishing once you have kept the daily bag limit of trout.
- Lakes Kuratau and Moawhango and the Waipakihi River upstream of the Rangipo dam: no daily bag limit.
- All other waters in the Taupo Fishing District, except lake Rotoaira: 3 trout per day regardless of species.
- Fishing hour You may fish only between the hours of 5:00 am and 12:00 midnight.
- Fishing seasons There are a number of waters where fishing is prohibited at all times, and others where defined open seasons apply. See map of Taupo Fishing District below.
- Fishing methods
In all cases
- You can only fish with one rod at any time, but you may have other assembled rods with you.
- You may use up to three flies or lures on your line.
- Only single-point hooks may be used, and a lure (including flies) may not have more than one hook attached.
- There is no weight restriction on flies and lures but the maximum allowable hook size is one that has a 14 mm gap between point and shank.
- The use of baits is not permitted and only artificial flies or lures may be used for trolling, jigging and spinning.
Trolling and jigging
- On Lake Taupo, you must not troll or jig within 300 metres of the mouths of most tributary rivers and streams or Te Rae Point at Kuratau (these are normally marked with white, black and yellow ringed poles) as these areas are restricted to fly-fishing only.
- You may put the rod in a rod holder, but only a licensed angler can fish with it.
- A person must not use any fish attracting electronic devices.
- Most of the rivers in the Taupo Fishing District are restricted to fly fishing only. The exceptions are the Tongariro upstream of Waikato Falls and including the Waipakihi River, the Kuratau River upstream of the hydro-electric supply dam, the Hinemaiaia River upstream of the HB dam, and the Waikato River from the lake outlet to Huka Falls.
- In fly-fishing-only waters you may attach weight such as a splitshot to the line to facilitate the sinking of the fly and a yarn indicator. You must use a fly rod, fly reel, fly line and artificial fly, and you must not use a float or attach weight to facilitate casting.
- Artificial fly means any lure of feather, fur, wool or other material used in the making of artificial flies.
- Fishing from a boat within fly-fishing-only waters is allowed at the mouths of the Tongariro and Tauranga Taupō Rivers, the lower Tongariro River downstream of Downs Pool, and within 300m of the Kuratau Spit (Te Rae Point); but in all these cases the boat must be securely anchored. Boats include float tubes and canoes.
- Spin fishing is permitted in Lake Taupo outside of the fly-fishing-only areas (see Trolling and Jigging above), in the Tokaanu Tailrace and in those exceptions to the river fly-fishing-only restriction listed under 'Fly fishing'.
- Spin fishing is also permitted in lakes Te Whaiau, Otamangakau, Kuratau and in the Hinemaiaia River upstream of the lower dam.
- Sale of trout It is illegal to sell or purchase trout.
- Indigenous fish The taking of koura and other fish indigenous to Lake Taupo is permitted only for members of the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe.
- Footwear The wearing of felt-soled boots is not permitted when fishing for trout.