Now the Kiwi Federation of Freshwater Anglers complains of exclusive access deals on land surrounding some high country rivers with good fly fishing.
Kiwi anglers are being "locked out" of top fishing spots by businesses cutting expensive deals with private landowners, angry fishermen say.I love the scaremongering about both rich people and foreigners.
In a growing number of "exclusive capture" deals, mostly in prime backcountry, "large sums" have been paid to landowners for the sole right to fish on their land, the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers says.
Rich foreigners and celebrities, including former United States president Jimmy Carter, actors Liam Neeson and Timothy Dalton, and former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser, pay thousands of dollars for guided helicopter fishing expeditions on New Zealand's most prized trout rivers.
But there are now fears more access will be lost to ordinary Kiwi fly fishermen – thought to number about 100,000.
The Government says the deals are the "legitimate right of a property owner" but it has asked the new Walking Access Commission to try to negotiate for open access "where there is access restricted".Compare the landowner's incentives to maintain and enhance habitat when such work brings greater access fees with those incentives when there's zero excludability.
Federation president Jim Hale said parts of rivers in the North Island and South Island had been captured by "unscrupulous commercial interests".
"It is practised by those who have captured these trout fishing waters for their own financial profiteering, even though the running water and the fish within them do not belong to them.
"We will fight this scourge wherever we find it, with whoever is involved, with all of the determination and resources at our disposal," Mr Hale said.
Wouldn't it make more sense for the Federation to up its membership fees and maybe start paying for member access in deals that could enhance habitat protection?
Update: Also see HomePaddock.