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A father's decision to take his children fishing out of season has led to his 12-year-old daughter being stripped of her prized rod.
Barry John Hanson was seen by an Otago Fish & Game Council ranger on September 22, fishing on the Taieri River at the downstream Outram Bridge.
It is a popular spot for brown trout angling, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.
The season is open for fishermen between October 1 and April 30.
Hansen admitted to the ranger he did not have a sports fishing licence but his son did.
The official seized the rod the junior fisherman had been using and the one in the defendant's hands, much to his daughter's dismay.
The red ''Daiwa Spitfire'' rod and reel had been a birthday present for the 12-year-old girl, counsel Jo Turner said.
She said the rods had been thrown into the back of the car on a whim by Hansen's children earlier that day as they ran another errand.
The defendant had only been ''having a go at casting'' when the ranger arrived on the scene, Ms Turner told the court.
She provided to Judge Michael Turner a letter from her client's daughter claiming ownership of the confiscated rod and asking for it back.
But the judge was unmoved and acceded to the prosecution's request for the fishing tackle to be forfeited.
The rod and reel of Hansen's son was returned to him after a verbal warning.
The defendant was convicted of taking sports fish without a licence and during closed season.
Judge Turner fined him $700 and imposed court costs of $130, as well as solicitor's fees of $200.