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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Clarification of Fish & Game’s current salmon fishing rules for Marlborough


A discrepancy in Fish & Game’s 2011-2012 South Island Sport Fishing Regulations booklet has led to a couple of interesting letters to the Marlborough Express and Fish & Game needing to clarify the issue.


Page 10 of the Fish & Game South Island Sports Fishing Regulations 2011-2012.
Page 10 of the Fish & Game South Island Sports Fishing Regulations 2011-2012.

Page 13 of the Fish & Game South Island Sports Fishing Regulations 2011-2012.
Page 13 of the Fish & Game South Island Sports Fishing Regulations 2011-2012.

On page 10 of the regulations booklet, the salmon season for the Nelson/Marlborough area is stated as being from 1 October – 30 April. On page 13, within the section for the specific regulations for each waterway, it states that the “Wairau River downstream from the Wash Bridge including the Diversion and the Southern Valley Irrigation Intake Pond” has an “All Year” season for brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon.

Despite this difference, I assumed when I first noticed it that the first defined salmon season took precedence over the latter definition. I have checked with Fish & Game, and it appears this is not the case, and the salmon season for the lower section of the Wairau is in fact open all year.

The two Marlborough Express letters-to-the-editor below brought the issue to light.

Neil Wilson's first letter to the Marlborough Express with regard to salmon being caught by 'foreigners' at the Wairau Bar outside of the supposed salmon season, with a reply from Fish & Game Nelson/Marlborough Region Manager Neil Deans.
Neil Wilson's first letter to the Marlborough Express (25 May, 2012) with regard to salmon being caught by 'foreigners' at the Wairau Bar outside of the supposed salmon season, with a reply from Fish & Game Nelson/Marlborough Region Manager Neil Deans.
Neil Wilson's reply to the Marlborough Express with regard to salmon being caught by 'foreigners'.
Neil Wilson's follow-up letter to the Marlborough Express (30 May, 2012) that mentions honorary rangers.


In his second letter to the Marlborough Express with regard to catching salmon at the Wairau Bar, Neil Wilson writes that he was “told a license-holder is an honorary ranger,” and he would have “approached” the fisherman with the salmon if he had his license with him – Fish & Game’s view on this is that “license-holders are not honorary rangers, and it would be an offence to impersonate one.” I guess Mr Wilson was lucky he didn’t have his license on him after all.