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The whitebait season for the West Coast of the South Island from 1 September to 14 November inclusive.
The taking of whitebait at other times is prohibited. Fishing is only permitted between 5am and 8pm, or between 6am and 9pm during New Zealand Daylight Saving.
It is strongly recommended potential whitebaiters familiarise themselves with all necessary regulations, bylaws and restrictions prior to whitebaiting on the Department of Conservation website.
The Whitebait Festival in Haast is held annually during the whitebait season and includes a variety of stalls, face painting, bouncy castle, whitebait cook off and whitebait racing, helicopter flights and live music. There is also normally a market day during the festival.
All whitebaiters should take note of the following:
The above summary information has been taken from the Department of Conservation website.