Waimakariri River in Nth Canty may face a winter fishing ban

The Waimakariri River may face winter fishing restrictions because of poor water quality.

Fish & Game is planning a ban  on winter sports fishing in some areas due to deteriorating water quality, which has some fisheries on the verge of collapse.

In what it called a “desperate measure”, the group’s North Canterbury branch said members supported a ban on sport fishing in some lowland waterways, as the fisheries were significantly depleted.

The proposed ban would involve closing the winter season, which runs from May to September, for lowland waterways east of State Highway One throughout North Canterbury.

It would affect fishing in parts of the Waimakariri River, which Fish & Game says is the busiest recreational river in the South Island, and the Selwyn River.

North Canterbury Fish & Game council chair Trevor Isitt said the fishery had suffered years of environmental degradation.

“We need to preserve what’s left – the remaining spawning that still occurs in these waters – if we are to protect the fishery from complete collapse.

“Sadly we are now seeing the end result of years of over allocation of water resources and deteriorating water quality from agricultural runoff and other forms of pollution.”

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