The whitebaiting season gets underway across most parts of the country on Wednesday, but the opening day prospects aren't looking good for some fans.
Recent heavy rain across Otago means many rivers in the region are running at high levels, meaning conditions aren't ideal.
However, Department of Conservation (DOC) freshwater ranger for Coastal Otago Pete Ravenscroft says the Lower Clutha River, where a large whitebait spawning site has been located, may be a good option.
In Canterbury, whitebaiters are warned against fishing in or around the Avon and Heathcote rivers and the Avon-Heathcote Estuary.
Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Dr Alistair Humphrey says eating whitebait caught in Christchurch's waterways is dangerous.
He says a soon-to-be released report shows silt in the rivers may now be contaminated with oocycts - eggs - from giardia.
"This can cause explosive bloody diarrhoea for months. These tiny eggs can live for years in silt and can be released into the water when the silt is stirred up," Dr Humphrey said.
Even before the earthquakes, Dr Humphrey said Christchurch's waterways rarely met recreational water standards because they were contaminated with duck and dog faeces.
"Despite this, some people still collected whitebait from the Avon and Heathcote rivers but now there is the additional risk of human faecal contamination as a result of heavy rainfall and sewer pipe repair works."
The whitebaiting season for most of New Zealand runs until November 30, while on the West Coast the season runs from September 1 until November 14.