whitebait fishing regulations

Whitebait Fishing Regulations & Compliance

The new Whitebait Fishing Regulations (2021) have now been released and can be found on the Government Legislation website.

These regulations have been produced by the Department of Conservation following their consultation process which the West Coast Whitebaiters Association actively submitted to with support from over 2000 individuals and organisations.

Please note that these regulations are to be phased in over a period of 3 years.

The main changes are:


  • Extended closed areas in Fiordland and Abel Tasman national parks
  • 20m between set gear
  • Back pegs for rest of NZ
  • 3m max. screen length (not stands) for rest of NZ
  • No fishing within 20m of groins, weirs, etc
  • 1 net only rest of NZ
  • ¼ max. width of river channel


  • Season Sept 1st – Oct 30th all NZ


  • Nationwide 6m maximum fishing gear length, including gear on stands


West Coast Regional Council: Information on Stand Compliance, Consents, Transfers, and Stand Maps.

Area after-hours contact numbers

Buller: (03) 788 8008

Greymouth: (03) 768 0427

Hokitika: (03) 756 9100

Franz Josef: (03) 752 0360

Haast: (03) 750 0869

West Coast Regional Council: (03) 768 0466 (Day / Night)

After hours DoC hotline: 0800 362 468

whitebait fishing regulations