Trout poaching convictions welcomed

Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens with trout and net seized from poachers.

Central South Island Fish & Game is welcoming the successful conviction of two men found netting trout in the Waihao River near Waimate and thanking the public for the tipoff which led to the prosecution.

Timaru men Sione Amanoni Peti and Siosoi Kofe Makoni were each convicted and fined $500 for the offence.

The men were also ordered to pay $200 towards solicitors’ costs, $130 court costs and had their fishing gear forfeited.

The pair were charged after Fish & Game received a tip off in September last year by a concerned member of the public who had witnessed two men taking trout from a gill net at the Waihao River in an area known as The Box.

Fish & Game Rangers found the men using two gill nets to capture fish, including trout. The men were found to be in possession of five adult brown trout with four of these fish in a bin underneath their vehicle.

While netting for native fish species is permitted, any sports fish such as trout and salmon caught in a net must be immediately returned to the water, with as little injury as possible.

Central South Island Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens says the convictions are welcomed because such offending can have a significant impact.

“The sustainability of sports fisheries can suffer because illegally netted fish are removed from the breeding population,” Mr Stevens says.

Hamish Stevens is thanking the public for reporting the illegal fishing, saying the information was a significant factor in the successful prosecution of the two offenders.