Canal fishing trip for three friends attracts nine convictions and thousands of dollars in fines
Fish & Game rangers undertaking nighttime compliance operation at the Mackenzie hydro canal fishery.
Three Ashburton friends have been processed through the courts after Fish & Game rangers detected them committing multiple offences during a fishing trip to the Mackenzie hydro canals during Labour Weekend 2022.
The final of several court appearances relating to the fishing trip was completed in Timaru District Court on November 9 th, 2023.
The men were encountered fishing on the Ōhau C Canal near Twizel as part of a nighttime compliance operation undertaken by Fish & Game rangers.
James Kamoe, Tare Tare and Kimiora Merota were each convicted of fishing without a sports fishing licence and providing false and misleading particulars.
Kamoe was convicted of a second charge of providing false and misleading particulars.
Tare was additionally convicted for exceeding the bag limit and continuing to fish after taking the bag limit.
In total, the trio were convicted of nine offences and ordered to pay a total of $6,730 in fines and costs.
Every person fishing for sports fish, including trout and salmon, is required under the Conservation Act to purchase and hold a valid sports fishing licence and adhere to the regulations.
Providing false or misleading particulars to a Fish & Game ranger is a serious offence with a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison or a $100,000 fine.
Central South Island Compliance Coordinator, Hamish Stevens said, “These convictions show that anglers who are tempted to mislead rangers can expect to be caught out and face serious consequences such as imprisonment.”
“Anglers who are tempted to break the rules or fish without a sports fishing licence need to realise they are risking criminal conviction, fines and forfeiture of fishing equipment.”