Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit

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Central South Island Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens measures a sea run salmon after taking a DNA sample from it in the Deep Creek area of the Rangitata River.

 

New regulations will assist in the management of Sea Run Salmon. Starting from the 2021/22 fishing season, Fish & Game have introduced new regulations to allow for a season bag limit. This now applies to sea run salmon fishing in the North Canterbury and Central South Island regions. 

 

Why is there a season bag limit?

The salmon fishery is in a precarious state. When salmon come back to rivers from the sea they are returning to spawn. Fish that are caught by anglers do not spawn and do not contribute to the next generation of fish. By managing angler catch with a season bag limit, anglers are making a greater contribution to the future of the fishery.

This is the single most important change to how Fish & Game manages sea run salmon since they were introduced 120 years ago.

How it works

Holders of a whole season licence will be eligible to endorse their licence to fish for Sea Run Salmon in the North Canterbury and Central South Island regions and keep up to a maximum of two sea run salmon for the whole season across both regions. 

Once you have bought an eligible whole season fishing licence you can apply for a free Sea Run Salmon endorsement. With your endorsement you will receive a Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card.

You will be required to carry your Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card with you and record immediately all the details of any sea run salmon kept.

At the end of the season all anglers must return their Season Bag Limit Card to either North Canterbury or Central South Island Fish & Game, regardless of how many such salmon were taken or killed. 

You must produce your Season Bag Limit Card to a Fish & Game Ranger on demand.  

Eligible licences

  • Whole Season (Adult, Junior & Child)
  • Whole Season Non-Resident (Adult, Junior & Child)
  • Family Licence (Only the primary licence holder can endorse and a maximum of two sea run salmon can be kept between all named parties on the family licence)
  • Loyal Senior
  • Local Area (Only for North Canterbury or Central South Island regions and you can only fish in the nominated region)

Buy a licence

Endorse your licence

The Endorsement Process

  1. Buy a qualifying whole season licence either online or in store
  2. Return to the front page of the licence purchase page and click "Endorse" 
  3. You will need your licence number and date of birth
  4. Select "Sea Run Salmon Endorsement"
  5. You will receive a PDF Sea Run Salmon Endorsement by email (or printed from the store if endorsing at time of licence purchase) confirming your endorsement that will include a Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card
  6. The PDF Sea Run Salmon Endorsement allows you to fish for sea run salmon in the North Canterbury and Central South Island within the regulations that apply and must be printed out and carried with you at all times while doing so
  7. The Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card will expire ten days from the date of purchase by which time your waterproof Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card will have arrived in the mail
  8. Catch data for any sea run salmon kept and recorded on the Temporary Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card must be transferred to the waterproof Sea Run Salmon Season Bag Limit Card and this must now be carried at all times when fishing for sea run salmon in North Canterbury or Central South Island Fish & Game region waters.

Regulations

Download Regulations

Summary of the regulations

  • All licence holders who fish in a sea run salmon water (as defined by the Sports Fish Licences, Fees, and Forms Notice 2021) must first obtain a sea run salmon licence (as defined by the Sports Fisheries Licences, Fees, and Forms Notice 2021).

  • All holders of a Sea Run Salmon Licence are eligible to receive a Season Bag Limit Card.

  • Family licence holders that have a Sea Run Salmon Licence are eligible for one Season Bag Limit Card per family licence.

  • No licence holder shall fish for, take, kill or be in possession of a salmon from sea run salmon waters within the Central South Island Fish and Game Region without holding a Season Bag Limit Card.

  • No licence holder shall over the length of the season take, kill or be in possession of more than two salmon from sea run salmon waters in both the Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish and Game regions. 

  • Immediately upon taking or killing a salmon from sea run salmon waters the licence holder must complete an entry in their Season Bag Limit Card for that fish.

  • All licence holders that fished for salmon from sea run salmon waters in either the North Canterbury or Central South Island Fish and Game regions must return their Season Bag Limit Card to either the North Canterbury or Central South Island Fish and Game Council at the end of the season, regardless of how many such salmon were taken or killed.

  • All holders of a Season Bag Limit Card must produce it to a Fish and Game Ranger on demand.

 

FAQ's for Sea Run Salmon Anglers