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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 first  fishout days in the 2018/19 season 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. The ponds are now open for children to fish with parent/caregiver supervision until the 30th of March.

We checked the ponds on the 24th January . They are still at a reasonable level and the fish are quite active with good numbers of fish in all three ponds. We did some weed removal early January but the weed is still a problem. If you catch a fish and it heads into weed just keep steady pressure on the rod , do not jerk/pressure the fish, and there is a good chance it will work its way out. Given the warm weather the fish are more likely to be where the cooler water is entering the ponds which is at the Western end of the two smaller ponds and about the middle of the Southern side of the biggest pond.

Important notice, 12th February  2018. Due to the current extreme fire risk the ponds are closed for public access until further notice 

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. Advance booking is required. 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 usually a spring spell with fish out days in November and early December. The spring /summer fishing days are now complete. There will be  a second autumn spell with fish out days in April-May however the dates of these will depend on weather conditions and will be decided later in the year.

You need to monitor this site or our Facebook page to know when these dates are decided and bookings will be open.

Update   Fishing  for youth with parent/caregiver supervision is open from the 20th December  2018 to the 31st of March, 2019. Please see the conditions applying to this use .

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Our Fishing Ponds and family fishing opportunities


Family fishing opportunities The Trust also makes the ponds available for children to fish with parent / caregiver supervision for 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 licenses.

 For advice on how to use the ponds and where to fish go to the 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.

important notice , 12th February 2018. Due to the current extreme fire risk the ponds are closed until further notice. 

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.

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