Fishing & whitebaiting

There are many popular sites for fishing and whitebaiting in the Waimakariri District. 

The river mouths and lower reaches of the Ashley and Waimakariri Rivers are popular sites for whitebaiting. The Waimakariri River is also an excellent salmon and trout fishery. Other Waimakariri District rivers of significant interest for seasonal fishing are the Ashley, Cust, Kaiapoi and Upper Kaiapoi (Silverstream).

Public access to the lower Kaiapoi River can be gained via Council riverbank reserves within the Kaiapoi area. The south branch of the upper Kaiapoi River (Silverstream) meanders through Silverstream Reserve near Clarkville. This large reserve allows public access to a significant stretch of the waterway. 

Kaiapoi Lakes, located 2 kilometres north of Kaiapoi's town centre, is a significant site for coarse fishing, being a Discrete Coarse Fishery established by North Canterbury Fish and Game Council. Coarse fish are freshwater fish other than game fish such as trout or salmon. 

Note: Many of the district's rivers and streams pass through private land. Permission should be sought from landowners before attempting to gain access to these sites.

For further information, visit the North Canterbury section of the Fish and Game New Zealand website.

Whitebaiting beach access permits

A permit is required for vehicle access to the Ashley River mouth during the whitebaiting season (mid August to end of November). This permit allows access beach access through an otherwise locked gate at North Waikuku on the south side of the river. A permit fee is charged. Permits are available from the Kaiapoi Service Centre, 176 Williams Street, Kaiapoi, and the Rangiora Service Centre, 215 High Street, Rangiora, from 14 August until 30 November.