Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game's Lawson Davey releases some trout into the fishing ponds at Appleby.

Children’s fishing ponds to be opened over winter

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The Sports Fishing for Youth Trust has confirmed that the children’s fishing ponds in Appleby will be open to children from May 16, through to the end of August.

“Our aim is to encourage kids to participate in outdoor activities. We had the last of our assisted fishing occasions in early May and there are still be some fish left in the ponds. We believe it is a good opportunity for children to catch these remaining fish and have a family day out at the ponds,” says a spokesman for the trust.

This is the first time the ponds have been open over the winter although the trust reminds people that only children between the ages of five and 17 are able to fish.

“When we opened the ponds over the summer there were often five or six families at the ponds on a weekend and it was great to see parents watching their children while they tried to catch a fish. We know there are often calm winter days when a family trip to the ponds for the kids to try to catch a fish would be a good outing,” says the trust.

The ponds have been stocked with salmon and brown trout, reared by Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game and these have proven a great challenge for the children on the guided fish out days.

As well as a limit to the age of those allowed to fish the ponds, other regulations include a fishing license for all fishers which can be obtained from the Fish and Game website, local sports shops or Fish and Game office. Any form of berley such as bread, feed pellets or similar is prohibited, a fisher may only catch one fish per day and the use of spinners, soft baits and other forms of lures are restricted to the biggest pond. Artificial flies, artificial bait pellets such as Jimmy’s pellets and natural baits such as worms and insects may be used in all three ponds.

Rhys says that Fish and Game rangers will be visiting the ponds over the winter period, providing assistance and advice to participants, as well enforcing fishing pond regulations.
More than 400 children participated in the guided fish out days over the last year, while more than 70 licenses were issued for children to fish with their families over the Christmas period.

The Sports Fishing for Youth Trust thanks the community for their support with the ponds including the Nelson Trout Fishing Club, Rata Foundation, Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game, Pub Charity, NZCT, the Corrections Department and the Lion Foundation.