Changes to the existing Taupō Fishery regulations hopes to provide better opportunities for anglers and families for the new fishing season.
The changes are the result of consultation between Department of Conservation, Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, the Taupō Fishery Advisory Committee, and Destination Great Lake Taupō.
The new season starts on July 1, which is when the multiple changes come into effect.
The changes include new licence categories making it more affordable for seniors and families to get out on Lake Taupō.
Because the condition of Taupō's trout has improved steadily over the last few seasons, harvesting of trout from the lake has gone up. The bag limit has increased from three to six, and the size limit will drop from 40cm to 35cm.
Increasing harvest to the current trout population is the big driver in changing catch bags and size limits says Fishery Manager Dave Conley.
"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.
"We’re encouraging anglers to increase their harvest to provide a positive change.
"With the lake’s trout condition improving, it’s timely to introduce these changes now and monitor any effects closely. Based on submissions from anglers during the consultation we are confident the changes will be well received.
"This approach has strong merit based on 30 years of research data, and we are looking forward to anglers enjoying being able to take more fish home with them."
The regulation changes have brought a price increase though for licences.
Fishery managers have increased the cost of most licences for the first time in the past six seasons, but say the increases are modest.
They say anglers will still be able to take advantage of the new family and senior licence categories which are intended to offer more affordable fishing.
The prices for children’s licences remain the same.
The Taupō Fishery has also introduced non-resident licences for both the week and whole season categories, which means a slight increase for international visitors' pricing.
Taupō Fishery managers hope the regulation changes will increase anglers in the district. Conley says, "We want to see more people out there enjoying what is a fantastic fishery in a beautiful part of New Zealand."
Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board Chief Executive, Topia Rameka says the changes to the fishery regulations have been a long time coming.
"Lake Taup" is a wild fishery and we support the use of adaptive management techniques that are focussed on ensuring that the quality of the fishery is improving, and the fishing experience is rewarding for fishing enthusiasts of all age groups and gender."
Check out www.doc.govt.nz-fishtaupo for more information.