Department of Conservation (DoC) rangers are planning a strong presence around Rotorua lakes for the fishing season opening day.

This strong presence is to promote responsible and considerate behaviour.

The opening of the new fishing season is on October 1 each year and generates a flurry of fishing and associated activities on Lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina.

There will be teams on the water and at boat ramps to ensure people understand the regulations for activities on land that DoC administers.


The Taupō Fisheries team from DoC is also supporting the operation.

Senior ranger Erin Patterson is hoping for few issues this year.

"Traditionally the department receives complaints around the start of the fishing season.

"Typically, it's a small number of people spoiling things for the others by lighting illegal fires, taking dogs into protected areas or camping in areas where it isn't permitted."

Teams of rangers will be visiting key sites around the lakes and at boat ramps to answer questions and discuss compliance issues.

"Rather than responding to complaints as they come in, we're going to be out there early to address issues before they arise."

Fires on conservation land around the lakes are prohibited.

"The effect of fire on vegetation and wildlife can be catastrophic and potentially very costly," said Patterson.


"Offenders may be held personally liable for these costs. Even with all the rain we have had in recent weeks, the vegetation types around many of the Rotorua lakes are highly flammable."

For those wanting to camp overnight in preparation for an early start to the fishing on Tuesday at Lake Tarawera, DoC is reminding lake users that camping is only permitted at designated areas at Hot Water Beach, Lake Tarawera Outlet and Humphries Bay.

No camping is permitted on public conservation land around Lake Rotoiti, Rotoma or Okataina, and only at DoC's campground on Lake Okareka.

Further details on these designated camping areas are available at

To report any suspected illegal activity on conservation lands phone 0800 DOCHOT.