Two months into the new sports fishing season, the Central South Island Fish & Game Council is pleased that 98 per cent of anglers are following the rules.
Since October, 1445 anglers have been interviewed with eight offenders encountered.
The most common offence detected was fishing without a valid sports fishing licence.
Other offences detected were - using more than one rod; being more than 15 metres from their rod and using illegal bait.
"The fact that nearly 98 per cent were sticking to the rules shows that current ranging efforts are working with anglers' deciding not to flout the law," said CSI Fish & Game compliance co-ordinator Hamish Stevens.
With holiday season just around the corner CSI Fish & Game are reminding anglers to purchase a 2020-2021 season licence and have it on them, ready to show a ranger.
Angling opportunities abound this summer, particularly with the absence of overseas anglers on some of New Zealand's premium backcountry fisheries. There simply has never been a better time to get out on the water and experience these world renowned fisheries.
Domestic tourism is filling up the region's campgrounds with many of these sites quite literally a cast away from the productive fisheries of the Waitaki lakes.
All freshwater anglers that fish for trout, salmon, perch and other sports fish, must hold a valid sports fishing licence and adhere to the sports fishing regulations in their regulation guides, which can differ between waterways.
During the 2019/2020 season, CSI Fish & Game rangers checked 1800 anglers on 36 waterways and 38 people were caught committing 47 offences, most near the hydro-electric canals around Tekapo and Twizel.
The most common offence (21) found by rangers last season was fishing without a valid sports fishing licence.
Other offences were - fishing out of season; providing false and misleading information; and using more than one fishing rod.
Rarer offences included submitting fraudulent documents; being more than 15 metres from rod; using more than one bait assembly and using berley to attract fish.
Twenty-five offenders were summonsed to appear in the district court.
The penalty for fishing without a licence - and most other regulation breaches - is a fine of up to $5000, forfeiture of fishing gear used and a criminal conviction.
"Anglers who choose to fish without a licence or otherwise break the rules can expect to end up in court. It's not a risk worth taking and it is much cheaper and less stressful to simply get a licence and follow the rules," said Hamish.
CSI Fish & Game rangers look forward to meeting plenty of anglers out enjoying their fishing this summer and encourage anyone with questions to contact CSI Fish & Game for information.