The Otago Fish & Game Council is asking southern lakes anglers for feedback on a review of freshwater sports fishing regulations that will tackle issues such as the decline in trout numbers in some lakes.

Cromwell Fish & Game officer Cliff Halford said the Otago Fish & Game council was undertaking a comprehensive review of regulations governing angling for brown and rainbow trout, salmon and perch in the entire Taieri and Clutha catchments and coastal catchment from Shag Point to the Catlins.

He said the main issues for this region were the increasing number of  anglers, lake snow and its unknown effects on fish populations, and the decrease in trout numbers in Lakes Wakatipu and Wanaka.

"While there is no evidence of a collapse in any of the lake fisheries, there is considerable uncertainty about their ability to sustain increasing pressure from angling and environmental changes," Mr Halford said.

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"Overall, Otago Fish & Game does not have sufficient information to ensure sustainability of trout populations under the current management regime."

He said two options were to do nothing or adopt a precautionary approach by reducing the daily bag limit.

Otago Fish & Game has organised public meetings around the region this month to present preliminary review findings, and for anglers to give feedback and raise any other concerns.

The first meeting is in Wanaka next Wednesday, at 7.30pm, in the Armstrong Room at the  Lake Wanaka Centre.

Written submissions can be sent to c.halford@fish-game.org.nz by Monday, March 5.
kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz