Greenstone River Controlled Fishery

A Controlled Fishery Period operates on the Greenstone River (and its tributary streams) between February 1 and March 31 each year. Please read the following information and click the link at the bottom of the page to make a booking and obtain your Controlled Period Licence

Controlled Period: 1 Feb - 31 March
Method: Fly Only
Bag Limit: 1

A Controlled Fishery Period applies from February 1 to March 31 each season on the Upper Greenstone River, from its source at Lake McKellar to the Sly Burn confluence. The aim of the Greenstone Controlled Fishery is to manage angling pressure on the Upper Greenstone River during the peak angling season to maintain a high quality angling and wilderness experience.

The lower Greenstone (upstream of the first swing bridge) and below the Slyburn confluence, as well as the Caples River, remains open to all Whole Season Licence holders with an Otago Backcountry Endorsment throughout the season (1 November – 31 May).

The Controlled Fishery Period requires anglers to make a booking in order to fish the Upper Greenstone River and ensures anglers will have exclusive angling access to a determined stretch of river (a beat) for the period of their booking.

During the Controlled Fishery the Upper Greenstone is separated into three beats, which are marked on the access track with Fish & Game signage.

Controlled Fishery Access Map

Bookings can only be made up to five days in advance of your intended fishing trip, including on the intended day of fishing.

You can select up to a maximum of three consecutive days per booking. Please be considerate of other anglers - we recommend a limit of two consecutive days fishing per trip.

Beats are booked via an online booking system which operates on a first come, first served basis. A booking may be made for one primary angler and one companion angler who must both hold an appropriate Whole Season Fishing Licence and Otago Backcountry Licence Endorsement.

Commercial Guides

Guides making a booking for a commercial trip must provide the full season licence number of the client/s they intend on guiding, this will ensure that the booking is issued in the name of the client/s.

Please be aware your clients will not be compliant with Controlled Fishery Regulations if they are not listed on the booking.

Guides may accompany a maximum of two clients (if not fishing themselves). If accompanying an individual client, guides may fish provided they are included on the booking as the companion angler.

The accuracy of the information provided is vital to the effective management of our backcountry fisheries.


Otago Fish & Game monitors compliance within the Greenstone Controlled Fishery as well as use of the booking system. Non-compliance with Backcountry and Controlled Fishery Regulations is an offence under the Conservation Act, subject to a maximum fine of $5,000.


Please be considerate and contact us to cancel your booking at the earliest opportunity if your plans change.

If you require further assistance please contact us


New Zealand Fishing Spots