The Clinton and Worsley Controlled Fisheries

The Clinton and Worsley rivers and their tributaries are Controlled Fisheries.

Special licencing requirements apply to these rivers - you must hold one of the Adult whole season licences.   

Rainbow trout Worsley soft bait 1

A nice rainbow caught on a softbait in the Worsley

Controlled-Period Licence Requirements

To help manage angling pressure on the Clinton and Worsley rivers, a fortnightly ballot operates throughout the sports fishing season (1 November-31 May).

Winners of the ballots are issued with a Controlled-Period Licence. 

Clean gear certificate requirements 

Please note, if you are successful in the ballot, you will need to obtain a clean gear certificate within 48 hours of going fishing in the Clinton and Worsley. 

Your certified clean gear must not be used in any other waters before reaching your Fiordland river. 

It must be carried with you whilst fishing, clean gear certificates are available free of charge from:  

  •            Southland Fish and Game’s Invercargill office
  •            Department of Conservation (Te Anau office)
  •            Outside Sports (Te Anau)              
  •            Southland Fish & Game Te Anau Office  

Rangers will be checking for clean gear certificates and if anglers are found without a clean gear certificate, enforcement action will be taken.

The potential spread of aquatic pests (like didymo) into Fiordland is a serious threat to these fisheries.

How does the ballot work? 

The Beats

Clinton 190720 beats croppedThe Clinton River downstream of the Prairie has been split into two actively managed beats.

The Lower Clinton Beat includes the Clinton River North Branch, the Clinton River downstream of the con­fluence with West Branch, and the Neale Burn.

The Middle Clinton Beat includes the West Branch of the Clinton River below ‘The Prairie’ to the North Branch con­fluence.

The Upper Clinton River above the ‘The Prairie’ has no beat controls but normal angling etiquette applies.

The Worsley River Beat is one actively managed beat.

Click here to see a map of the whole Clinton River showing the fishing beat boundaries.

The Ballot

The Clinton and Worsley beats are balloted fortnightly.

The ballot for a specific fortnight period opens four weeks in advance.

Anglers will then have two weeks in which they can enter the ballot.

There are six fishing allocations balloted for each beat, each fortnight period.

These allocations are Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday and Friday-Sunday.

Anglers can enter the ballot for up to six allocations across all beats, each fortnightly period.  

A party leader and up to three companion anglers can be included on a ballot entry but each angler can only appear on one ballot entry, regardless of whether they are a party leader or companion angler.

If an angler enters the ballot more than once for a given fortnightly period, all of their ballot entries will be void for that period.  

To enter the Clinton or Worsley ballot, all members of your angling party must have a full season licence prior to entering the ballot.

If a member of your angling party does not have the appropriate licences, your ballot entry will be void.        

The ballot will close two weeks out from the start of a fortnightly period.

Anglers will be advised by email if they are successful with their ballot entry and issued with a Controlled Period Licence.

To enter the Clinton or Worsley ballot, applications will open on October 5 check back here then.

Compliance Monitoring

These regulations have been adopted to provide a better angling experience in response to increasing complaints regarding crowding and angler conflict on these fisheries.

While we appreciate it won’t suit all anglers, we urge people to ensure they only fish these waters if they have the correct controlled period licence.

To maximise the benefits of these changes, Fish & Game will be monitoring compliance on Controlled Fisheries fisheries during the season.

Non-compliance with the controlled period licence requirements is an offence under the Conservation Act and is subject to a maximum fine of $5000 and will be treated the same as fishing without a licence offence.

We look forward to your cooperation in the management of these fisheries and hope you enjoy your season.  

For more information please contact Southland Fish and Game on 03 215 9117 or

Prevent the spread of aquatic pests  

To help prevent the spread of aquatic pests, remember to check, clean and dry your equipment.  

Please be aware that didymo is present in Lake Te Anau. Boots, waders and equipment that gets wet with lake water should not be used in the river.   

No watercraft (boats, pack rafts etc) are permitted in the Clinton River catchment.

Glaisnock Wilderness Area

NOTE: The Worsley River is situated within the Glasisnock Wilderness Area. No commercial activities, including fishing guiding, are permitted in this area.

Ballot entry dates



Ballot entries open

Ballot entries close

Approximate notification date

Download application form


1 Nov – 12 Nov

4 October

15 October

16 October

Period 1 form 


13 Nov – 26 Nov

16 October

29 October

30 October

Period 2 form


27 Nov – 10 Dec

30 October

12 November

13 November

Period 3 form


11 Dec – 24 Dec

13 November

26 November

27 November

Period 4 form


25 Dec – 7 Jan

27 November

10 December

11 December

Period 5 form


8 Jan – 21 Jan

11 December

22 December

23 December

Period 6 form


22 Jan – 4 Feb

25 December

 7 January

8 January

Period 7 form


5 Feb – 18 Feb

8 January

 21 January

22 January

Period 8 form


19 Feb – 3 Mar

22 January

4 February

5 February

Period 9 form


4 Mar – 17 Mar

5 February

 18 February

19 February

Period 10 form


18 Mar – 31 Mar

19 February

3 March

4 March

Period 11 form


1 Apr – 14 Apr

4 March

17 March

18 March

Period 12 form


15 Apr – 28 Apr

18 March

31 March

1 April

Period 13 form


29 April – 12 May

1 April

14 April

15 April

Period 14 form


13 May – 26 May

15 April

28 April

29 April

Period 15 Form


Ballot entry page

Please download, fill out and email the editable PDF above to enter the ballot for the period when applications open: