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YOUTH FISHING – Sport Fishing for Youth Trust

Providing opportunities for youth to enjoy outdoor activities

Sports Fishing For Youth Trust is a group of volunteers providing children with the opportunity to participate in guided ‘fish out’ days at the specially-built Waimea River Park Fishing Ponds in Appleby near Nelson. Our goal is to provide youth in the Nelson/Tasman region with an opportunity to go fishing, enjoy the outdoors, and to develop an appreciation of the outdoor environment. We also, from time to time, make the ponds available for other groups and provide fishing opportunities for special needs groups, the disabled, the elderly, and groups such as Casting for Recovery.

Update  The  fishout days in November/December of 2018 and April/May 2019 have gone well with most kids catching fish.  The fish averaged 900 grams to 1 kilo with several fish in the 2.6 – 2.7 kg range. There are no more guided fishout days for this season however the ponds will be open for children to fish with adult supervision from the 1st of June until the 13th of October. The details of these family fishing opportunities are set out elsewhere on this site.

Warning  The TDC have advised us that at some time in June they will be removing the pine trees located between the stop bank and the river . The work may take a week or so and the access road to the ponds may be closed while the work is carried out. Please take care when using the access road and comply with any restrictions or road closures.

read more about the Trust »

Fish Out Days

The Trust has designated “fish out” days. On these days our volunteers guide the young fishers in 50 minute fishing sessions. Fishing gear and tackle is provided.  There is a small charge of $2 per child on the designated fishout days but this may be waived for special needs groups.

Fish out days are usually carried out in two spells. There is a spring spell with fish out days in November and early December and a second spell in April/May. The public   fish out days for the 2018/2019 season are now complete with the remaining  days in May have allocated to various special needs groups and the disabled.

We will decide on fish out day dates for the 2019/2020 season later in the year , probably in late October. You need to monitor this site or our Facebook page to know when bookings will be open. Bookings for the fish out days are essential but cannot be made until the dates have been set. 

Book now

Our Fishing Ponds and family fishing opportunities

Family fishing opportunitiesThe Trust also makes the ponds available for children to fish with parent / caregiver supervision for limited periods over the year.  A special permit or licence issued by Fish and Game is required to fish the ponds during these times. The Conditions for use of the ponds apply to these family permits and the children must have a licence. The licence from Fish and Game is free for children 12 and under and $20 for children between 12 and 17 years old. There is a link below to the Fish and Game web site to order a licence.

The ponds will be open for family fishing opportunities when kids can fish with adult supervision from the 1st of June 2019 until the 13th of October 2019.

For advice on how to use the ponds and where to fish go to our tips site . There is also an excellent youtube video produced by Jim Jobe of Jimmys bait company  at

Order Licence

We also, from time to time, make the ponds available for other groups and provide fishing opportunities for special needs groups, the disabled, the elderly, and the groups such as Casting for Recovery. If you wish to arrange a visit by such a group send us a message.

Finding the ponds »

Access to the ponds is off River Road via a gravel track . To access the track turn into River Road from Highway 60, approximately 150 m on the Motueka side of the Appleby bridge. Approximately 1.4 km along River Road from Highway 60 is an entry track that goes up onto the top of the stop bank for a distance of about 100m. Stay on the gravel road when it drops down off the stop bank. Follow the gravel road upstream for about 2 km and you should see the ponds. Drive slowly and with care on the track , it is narrow and quite rough in places. The attached map will also assist.

We rely on volunteers to run our Fish Out days. Maybe you can help us?

Book Now
Advance booking for Fish Out days is required.

Tips, Resources
Handy tips and useful online resources for our budding little fishers.

Our Sponsors

We get great support from the Nelson Trout fishing club ( and from Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game. We are also greatly appreciate the assistance provided by the Corrections Department who maintain the grounds around the ponds and to ITM Nelson who have provided the timber to repair the disabled fishing platforms.

Primary Sponsors

Ellis St. Auto Repairs Ltd. Fulton Hogan Jimmys Bait Co. Kilwell The Lion Foundation Nelson ITM Network Tasman Trust NMIT NZ Community Trust New Zealand King Salmon Pub Charity Ltd. Rata Foundation Tasman District Council Taylors Contracting Co. Ltd. Tony's Engineering, Brightwater

Secondary Sponsors

The Warehouse (Richmond)
Mitre 10 Mega
Property Law Centre
Integrated Traffic solutions
The Fishing Paper
Fresh Choice (Richmond)
Rusler Nets
ANZ Bank (Nelson)
Richmond VTS
Pak’N’Save (Richmond)
Hynds pipes