25 Jun 2016

Fears raised for access to trout river

11:37 am on 25 June 2016

Fish and Game is calling on the government to step in to safeguard public access to a famous fishing river in Otago.

NZ brown trout

New Zealand brown trout Photo: 123RF

Pomahaka River is considered an important trophy brown trout fishery and spawning ground bordering Hukarere Station, which is a Crown-owned pastoral lease.

A tenure review was under way for the station, which covers 7177ha.

Otago Fish and Game Council chief executive Niall Watson said the present plans for public access were woefully inadequate, and meant New Zealanders would lose out.

He called on the Minister of Land Information Louise Upston to intervene in the tenure review process.

Mr Watson said Land Information New Zealand and the Commissioner of Crown Lands placed a very low priority on public access in tenure reviews.

He said tenure reviews should look after both the public and private interest, but the present access was lopsided and the public was losing out.

He would write to Ms Upston, he said, urging her not to fund the Hukarere tenure review until better public access provisions had been included.