I’ve had several boats that I have fished with in the lower Waimakariri River, particularly at Macintoshes Hole. I often ran the Stabi-Craft and later the McLay down to the breakers but didn’t cross them. On one occasion I remember running the boat to the Waimakariri River mouth from Lyttelton and trolling for salmon but only managed to take kahawai. The sea was a bit rough from memory. I have often seen boats cross the Waimakariri River bar to go fishing. It is a judgement thing really. The top of the tide will obviously give you more water. The biggest danger is if the sea gets rough while you are out. I’d say you do need a licence to fish for salmon off the mouth.