More than 13,500 international anglers took to the water in pursuit of New Zealand’s wild trout during the recent fishing season, according to data from Fish & Game NZ.
The numbers are down on pre-covid levels, but Fish & Game chief executive Corina Jordan said it is pleasing to see them starting to build again.
“Industry-wide, tourism is sitting at around 50% of where it was before covid-19 hit,” she said.
“This season, our non-resident angling tracked at around 75% of pre-covid levels.
“While we are still awaiting data from the Taupō area, figures for the rest of the country show how highly valued our trout fishery is amongst the international angling community.”
Jordan said New Zealand is renowned for having the best trout fishery in the world.
“Catching a large, wild New Zealand trout in crystal clear water, amid spectacular scenery, is often referred to as the ‘Everest’ of trout fishing internationally.
“Previous research also shows that international trout anglers are big spenders – they’re among the highest value tourists because of the outlay on things like luxury lodges, helicopter transport, fishing guides, fine dining and wine.”
Jordan said a positive aspect of non-resident anglers is that most of their spending is in the regions, where the best fishing is located.
Fish & Game NZ has commissioned research to quantify the value of trout fishery to regional economies, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“What we’re looking to get a better handle on is how trout fishing tourism acts as an economic driver for parts of the country.”