FAQ's for Sea Run Salmon Anglers

This season’s fishing for sea run salmon is different in the Central South Island (CSI) and North Canterbury regions. Anybody who wants to fish for or keep sea run salmon in CSI and North Canterbury regions must obtain a “Sea Run Salmon Endorsement” additional to their sports fishing licence. This is similar to how anglers already apply for a backcountry endorsement. Below are some common questions from anglers and the answers:

A: Any angler that wants to fish for or keep a sea run salmon in any of the sea run salmon waters of the Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish & Game regions must obtain a Sea Run Salmon Endorsement. This includes anglers targeting trout that may wish to keep a sea run salmon incidentally caught. 

For clarity, sea run salmon waters are:

In North Canterbury Fish and Game Region:

  • Ashley River downstream of Ashley Gorge Road
  • Avon River downstream of the Barbadoes Street bridge
  • Cam River from the Kaiapoi River confluence to the Smith Street bridge
  • Heathcote River downstream of the Colombo Street bridge
  • Hurunui River below the South Branch confluence
  • Kaiapoi River downstream of the confluence of the Cust Main Drain
  • Lee Stream
  • Rakaia River downstream of the Coleridge Tailrace confluence
  • Saltwater Creek
  • Tentburn Outfall
  • Waiau River downstream of the Hope River confluence
  • Waimakariri River downstream of the Staircase Stream confluence

In Central South Island Fish and Game Region:

  • Ashburton River
  • Bells Pond (Waitaki River irrigation pond at Ross Road)
  • Bortons Pond (Waitaki River irrigation pond at Black Point, State Highway 83)
  • Deep Creek (a tributary of the upper Rangitata River)
  • Deep Stream (a tributary of the upper Rangitata River)
  • Hakataramea River
  • Hinds River
  • Kakanui River
  • Maerewhenua River
  • Ohapi Creek
  • Opihi River
  • Opuha River and tributaries
  • Orari River and tributaries
  • Pareora River
  • Rangitata Diversion Race upstream of the Rakaia River Road bridge
  • Rangitata River and tributaries
  • Te Ana a Wai River and tributaries
  • Temuka River and tributaries
  • Waihao River
  • Waihi River and tributaries
  • Waitaki River

A: Only whole season licence holders are eligible for a Sea Run Salmon Endorsement, that is one of the following licence types:

  • A family licence,
  • An adult, junior or child whole-season licence (resident or non-resident),
  • A loyal senior licence,
  • A local area licence for either the Central South Island or North Canterbury Fish & Game regions.

A: Two ways, either:

  • Immediately after purchasing your whole-season licence in-store, participating stores will assist you to obtain the endorsement and must print out your “Sea Run Salmon Endorsement” that includes the “Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card.”
  • Or, after purchasing your whole-season licence, go to the Fish & Game website and apply for your endorsement (link). Print out your “Sea Run Salmon Endorsement” that includes the “Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card.

A:  You will receive: 

  • A “Sea Run Salmon Endorsement” printout that includes the “Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card.”, valid for 10 days only.
  • By post within 10 days, a sea run salmon waterproof Season Bag Limit Card that replaces the endorsement. 

Anglers must transfer all catch entries from their Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card to their waterproof Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card.  

A: You must:

  • Carry it with you at all times when fishing for sea run salmon in Central South Island and North Canterbury regions,
  • Produce it to a Fish & Game Ranger on demand,
  • Immediately upon keeping a sea run salmon,­ fill in the details of the catch,
  • Return your card to Fish & Game at the end of the season, whether you kept fish or not. You can do this either by post, email or online.

A: No, currently there is no charge.

A: It is an offence under the Conservation Act 1987 to fish for, take, kill or be in possession of a sea run salmon from Central South Island and North Canterbury region waters without holding a Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card. 

A: It is the total number of sea run salmon that may be kept by any eligible whole season licence holder during a sports fishing season. For the 2021-2022 sports fishing season, the season bag limit is two (2) sea run salmon from the combined waters of the Central South Island and North Canterbury regions. 

In all other waters there is no Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit and daily bag limits apply.

A: When an angler reaches their season bag limit of two (2) sea run salmon, they must stop fishing for sea run salmon for the remainder of the season in the Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish & Game regions.

A: One card only. This permits a total of 2 sea run salmon to be killed between all those named on the family licence. 

If individual family members wish to hold their own Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card, they must purchase an individual whole season licence.

A:  No. Sea Run Salmon Waters are identified in the regulation guide. All North Canterbury Region waters that are Sea Run Salmon Waters refer you to Note 13. All Central South Island Region waters that are Sea Run Salmon Waters refer you to Note 10.

A: No. Sea Run Salmon Waters are identified in the regulation guide. All North Canterbury Region waters that are Sea Run Salmon Waters refer you to Note 13. All Central South Island Region waters that are Sea Run Salmon Waters refer you to Note 10.