The Department of Conservation is highlighting some key
things to ensure a safe and happy whitebait season which
runs from 1 September to 30 October.
Species Manager Emily Funnell says it’s important
whitebaiters keep themselves safe, particularly at the
margins of the sea and rivers.
waders should wear belts, and they should consider wearing
lifejackets if around deep or turbulent
“They should also let people know where they
are going and when they should be home again,” Emily
The last of new whitebaiting regulations
will roll out for the South Island’s West Coast on 1
September, the first day of this year’s whitebaiting
The maximum length of whitebaiting gear used
on the West Coast will be six metres, bringing it in line
with the rest of the country. This change will mainly affect
fishing gear used from whitebaiting stands.
West Coast regulation will also help to address equity
issues. Up until this year, West Coast stand-holders could
potentially harvest significant amounts of whitebait using
extensive net and screen lengths.
Emily Funnell also
urges whitebaiters to help reduce the spread of invasive
freshwater pests, particularly gold clam this
“No matter where you whitebait, follow
Biosecurity New Zealand’s updated Check, Clean, Dry
advice, and, if you are fishing in the Waikato, stick to
whitebaiting in only one river for the season to reduce the
risk of your gear and waders spreading gold
Visit DOC’s website for whitebaiting rules:
Biosecurity New Zealand’s website for up-to-date Check,
Clean, Dry information on freshwater gold clam: www.biosecurity.govt.nz/clam.
for free printed copies of the whitebaiting
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