NZFFA Past Headlines

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NZFFA - New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers

Protecting, enhancing and fostering the sport and interests of the freshwater anglers of New Zealand

Latest News;
At the June 2018 AGM the meeting voted to make membership of the NZFFA free

15th July 2018

All supporters and all of those who care about our freshwater fisheries are urged to become members of the NZFFA so that the NZFFA can be a more effective advocate for our freshwater fisheries

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I have seen Armageddon!

21th July 2018

An environmental “Armageddon” will be fought on the bed of the Rakaia River south of Christchurch; the battle between the “forces of evil” vs common sense and common good


Clean, Flowing Rivers Must be Restored- Trout Fishing Lobby

17th July 2018

Restoring clean flowing rivers is the goal of a national trout fishing advocacy the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA). NZFFA President Graham Carter of Hamilton at the organisation’s recent annual conference in Christchurch said clean and adequately flowing water in the public’s rivers must be restored.

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Is  Catch and Release As Good As It Feels?

11th July 2018

Tony Orman looks at questions emerging about “catch and release” that need to be addressed

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It really is “Theft”

16th June 2018

by Rex N. Gibson

We often hear the terms “institutionalised racism”, “institutionalised Sexism”, etc., but I will use the term “institutionalised theft” when it comes to OUR water...

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“Man must make himself small and humble to live within it rather than a ruthless giant to conquer it”

15th June 2018

Vancouver Island and Roderick Haig-Brown

by Tony Orman

I can’t resist dropping into a second hand book shops when I’m travelling or to the local one here in Blenheim. Naturally I head for the fishing and hunting section...

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Trout and River Advocacy Opposes Chemicals at Groynes

24th May 2018

“I am vehemently opposed to the use of chemical sprays to combat the Lagarosiphon infestation at the fish out ponds at the Groynes,” he said.

“Indeed judging by strong opposition from the Salmon Anglers and North Canterbury Fish and Game the feeling is strong within the angling public.

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Toxicity of Chlorine to Brown Trout

17th May 2018

This paper deals with the responses of the Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta Linn.), to free chlorine residuals in freshwater, and the potential toxicity that sometimes results when waste water containing free chlorine residuals, is discharged from sewerage and water treatment plants, into a receiving river or stream

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Trout Fishers Urge Restoring Full ECAN elections

15th May 2018

The NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers has urged the new government to restore fully democratic elections to Environment Canterbury “as soon as possible”

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Public Parks off-Limits

17th April 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on future offshore oil and gas exploration saying the only exploration likely to be contemplated would be on-shore exploration, limited to energy-rich Taranaki. Not entirely clear is the position of the public’s forest parks such as the 200,000 hectare Victoria Forest Park near Lewis Pass. The previous National-led government in 2014 allowed overseas corporates rights to drill off-shore and on-shore . One was Victoria Forest Park. At the time the then energy minister Simon Bridges admitted although he had signed the deal off, he had never heard of the park. There are competing predictions for a cooling as well as a warming climate and if this occurred, then it was important New Zealand was self-sufficient in fuel. Public lands should be excluded from oil and gas exploration, but private land exploration would be up to property owners, oil and gas corporates and government environmental safeguards.. Public wilderness should not be part of any exploitive exploration.

Andi Cockroft

Co-chairman Council of Outdoor Recreation Assns.,NZ

Letter to Listener

23rd March 2018

Dear Sir
Paul Thomas’ recent Sports Column on fishing as a sport was excellent. Supplementary to the individual’s enjoyment is the unrealized asset fishing is to the nation.
For instance a Horizon survey showed fishing to have five times more participants than rugby. In another survey fishing – just saltwater fishing alone was found to generate $1.7 billion to the economy – greater than the commercial fishing industries value.
Both the participant and economic value underline the importance of protecting the resource, in the case of the saltwater sport, from overfishing and mismanagement, particularly by the corporate sector and in trout and salmon fishing, the vital habitat of clean rivers with adequate water flows.
The latter of halting further degradation of rivers was very much an election issue. The trout fishing public and many environmentally aware New Zealanders are expecting tangible positive efforts by the new government in this regard.
Graham Carter
NZ Federation of freshwater Anglers

1080 info links

18th March 2018

The 1080 debate is a controversial one, with lots of conflicting opinions, though it's hard to go past the suffering caused to wildlife by the extensive use of this poison - surely we can find a better way?.

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Government agencies advice on 1080 in trout flesh – false and understated

4th March 2018

In 2016 the Ministry for Primary Industries released a warning to trout fishermen, not to eat trout from 1080 poisoned rivers for at least 7 days. However, that MPI warning echoed by DOC and other agencies) was based on incomplete and false information.

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Government’s “One Million Trees” Dream Must Avoid Pine Mono-culture

3rd March 2018

New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers’ president Graham Carter of Hamilton said mono cultures of pine trees in many parts of New Zealand had been an environmental disaster with depleted stream flows and heavy siltation of rivers and estuaries following clear felling logging

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Environmental challenges facing NZ
The bureaucrats are the Big Environmental Challenge facing New Zealand in 2018

8th February 2018

Water quality and availability, rapid urbanisation, and the impact of natural hazards and climate change are the top three planning issues affecting New Zealand in 2018 and beyond, according to the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI)

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Submission: Rangitata River RDR Consent applications

February 2018

The RDR is applying for resource consents to replace a fish screen and to take more water from the Rangitata River, Mid Canterbury

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Trout Federation Praises Waikato Regional Council Eel Rescue Plan

9th February 2018

The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers has praised the Waikato Regional Council for its initiative to reduce mortality of eels as the fish pass through flood pump stations

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The Public's Waterways

5th February 2018

Recently former Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy was bleating the new government is holding back regional New Zealand through its opposition to water storage projects which he says help grow jobs in the regions, boost exports and provide environmental sustainability. By his utterances Guy shows the lack of environmental stewardship of the previous government.


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Urgent Action Needed on Pesticides Wrecking Freshwater Ecosystems

1st Feburary 2018

NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers president Graham Carter said insecticides had widespread use in New Zealand. Trout anglers had over decades noticed strong declines in hatches of aquatic insects such as mayfly and caddisfly species.

“You could liken it to the canary in the coalmine scenario,” he said. “Trout and their food such as aquatic insects and anglers’ observations are out there and it just isn’t good.”


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Tragic Mismanagement of Kahawai

30th January 2018

Being a regular fisherman over the last successive 25 years and earlier for several years in the 1970s for kahawai in Marlborough’s  Wairau River estuary and Diversion mouth, this summer has been the worst season ever.
The demise of kahawai around the northern end of the South Island is sadly very evident.
I can recall kahawai years ago in Marlborough’s Cloudy Bay and the Marlborough Sounds working in several shoals just offshore, easily identifiable by excited gulls overhead. To see the birds hovering above the feeding frenzy of fish today is a rarity. In the autumn in the 1970s, big kahawai shoals entered the Wairau River estuary. Those autumn ‘runs’ have gone

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Trout Anglers Back PM’s Public Water Ownership

30th January 2018

Water was a public resource and should not be owned or given away, says a national trout fishing advocacy.


President of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers Graham Carter of Hamilton said water was a public resource owned by the people irrespective of wealth or ethnic background.


Graham Carter was commenting on a recent statement by Prime Minister Jacinda Adern that water was a public resource.


"Who owns the water? Labour says everybody


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Fish Stress from Catch and Release Fishing

17th December 2017

It makes sense that fish that are played longer and held out of water longer will experience more stress, and the more stress experienced by a fish the more likely it is to die when released. To reduce stress, scientists have recommended some general guidelines for catch-and-release angling (Cooke and Suski 2005):

1) Minimize angling duration (the time a fish is played and handled for hook removal)
2) Minimize air exposure (15-20 sec) by removing hooks with the fish in water and photographing fish quickly
3) Use barbless hooks and artificial lures/flies
4) Use rubber nets void of knots that protect fish scales and mucous
5) Avoid angling during extremes in water temperature

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Outdoor Access for Kiwis Must Come First

30th November 2017

Graham Carter President of the Federation of Freshwater Anglers said many New Zealanders would be delighted at the Labour-led government’s decision. “Tightening the rules around is well overdue and very welcome,” he said.

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Salmon Symposium a success

12th November

Managed to get along to this in Ashburton at the weekend - want to congratulate Fish and Game on a very well run event, the quality of information was very good as were the presentations, highlights for me was the presentation from Canadian fisheries expert David Willis which was very informative and gave insights as to the way forward. New Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage was equally interesting as she gave the audience hope that the new Govt will address many of the environmental issues impacting on our river - to sum it up - she's on our side! At one point organiser Mathew Hall asked the audience if they was anyone in the room who disagreed that the salmon fishery was in a perilous state - no one did - I spoke to one retired Rakaia Gorge farmer who remembered the good old days - over 100 fish for a season! - how times have changed... The weekend ended with some words of wisdom from retiring F&G head Bryce Johnston - who suggested this was perhaps our last chance for these rivers and therefore the salmon fishery - when you consider what we once had - took for granted for so long - we can't afford to lose the King of fish and the King of our rivers - and so the fight to save the last of the salmon has begun - I hope it's one we can win!

Steve Gerard

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Trout Fishers’ Federation Welcomes Government Change

The NZFFA has welcomed the formation of the NZ First, Labour and Green Parties government and the relegation of the National-led government to opposition...

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Twenty years on

October 1 marks the 20th anniversary of the release of The State of New Zealand's Environment report, New Zealand's first major environmental review which was published in 1997. It took five years to produce, and was the first attempt to chronicle the state of New Zealand's environment.

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Farmers need to stop blame shift

Farmers need to stop blame shifting and take responsibility for their part in the pollution of our waterways and local government needs to be held accountable.

The common denominator in all the pollution we have is big business. These are the culprits that local and central government need to focus on.

Sure farmers have been investing in riparian strips and fencing which has helped ease the leaching on our waterways but it is not the complete answer....

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Political Parties Ranked On Outdoor Recreation and Environment (Updated)

A outdoor recreation forum survey of parliamentary political parties on outdoor recreation and the environment has resulted in NZ First ranking top. At the other end of the ladder National ranked bottom equal with the Maori Party. 

An election charter with “17 questions relating to outdoor recreation and the environment were sent to all parties. Of parties currently in Parliament NZ First, on 94 out of 100, was well ahead of United Future, (76) followed by Labour (64) and then the Green Party (58).

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Lost Rivers of the North Island

We've extended our 'Lost Rivers' mapping to include North Island Rivers - Again the results are disappointing - note the attached picture of the water quality in the Waikato River catchment..

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Unity is Being Eroded by Division

Recently in the US, at an “Over-population Conference” in Washington DC, a former Governor of Colorado Richard D Lamm spoke on the startling subject, how to destroy America. Before he spoke an eminent college professor Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, 'Mexifornia,' explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California.

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Lost and Declining Trout Rivers Identified by NZFFA

New Zealand’s trout fisheries are going downhill and in some cases such as Canterbury’s Selwyn and Irwell Rivers, “lost” as public trout fisheries says Graham Carter, president of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers.

“It’s very eye opening and a sharp reminder with an election looming, that water and rivers is an issue to take up with politicians. At the very least all anglers must vote and vote with the future of our trout rivers in mind,” he said. 

"Lost Rivers" represents a decline of the ‘intergenerational equity’ and every New Zealander shares in our freshwater resources

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Lost Rivers....

“It extremely dishearting to realise the true extent of the declines in our freshwater fisheries”, This map highlights those declines in the South Island


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Farmers’ Belated River Pledge Welcomed

“It’s great news,” said Graham Carter president of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers. “It shows a new-found commitment by Federated Farmers NZ under its new invigorating leadership but I’m disappointed it’s not sooner rather than later as today.”


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new illustrated book on rivers by Bill Benfield

The state of our rivers has become a political hot topic, so much so, that even politicians’ are getting involved. Everyone has a different idea about what we should do about it. Urban based and often conservation groups blame agriculture, particularly “dirty dairy”. Rural communities blame “townies”. Both are right and both are wrong

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Where have all the rivers gone, long time passing?

The number of rivers we have lost, in Canterbury, is rarely appreciated by the general public. Fishermen know; because their Canterbury lowland fishery has virtually disappeared. And that is no bull (excuse the paronomasia)! When the rivers dry up, even if only for a few weeks, or even days....

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Government RMA Changes Diminish Democracy (Special Report)

Changes by Government to the Resource Management Act have lessened the democratic voice of the public over rivers and water quality and quantity, says the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers...

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Labour’s “About Face” on Rivers Sad for Environment

A national trout fishing organisation says the Labour Party’s reversal of its policy on charging commercial users for use of freshwater is a retrograde 180 degree turn around and therefore disappointing.

Graham Carter, president of the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers said the backdown by Labour was a sad day for the public’s rivers which in some cases had died while others were in death throes due to water depletion and nitrate contamination...

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Does angler pressure preclude catching fish

A group of South Island freshwater anglers have formed a group called Kiwi Anglers First.

The group is concerned at the decline of angling in the back country rivers and the building of a fishing lodge by foreign owners exclusively for foreign fishers...

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Government RMA Changes Ominous for Future of Water

An annual report presented to the Federation’s annual general meeting recently held in Rotorua it was said the inescapable perception was that the proposed changes favoured economic development above environmental and recreational values.

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Hungry Neighbours by Skye Wishart

As an Ecologist I am appalled by this amateurish article. The trout in the Canterbury rivers are themselves in rapid decline...

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New Zealander's Own Water - Not for Sale

The New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers is calling for water royalties to be paid...

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Press Releases


Read all the latest comment from the NZFFA


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