Right and wrong ways to fish

A fine catch of trout caught the legal way by Mr E. Marsden, of Glenavy. — Otago Witness, 12.2.1924
A fine catch of trout caught the legal way by Mr E. Marsden, of Glenavy. — Otago Witness, 12.2.1924
Apparently the lowness of the Silverstream this season and the plentifulness of trout there has encouraged some of the Mosgiel lads to indulge in the fascinating if unlawful sport of "tickling" trout. Their success was in a way their undoing, for when an honorary ranger came across an unlawful catch amounting to as many as 78 trout, it was hardly possible to turn the blind eye. In consequence four boys, two aged 16 and two of them 15, appeared before Mr H.W. Bundle SM yesterday in the Juvenile Court. All four were charged with taking trout unlawfully by hand, and three with failing to return to the water trout under nine inches in length. Mr Hay appeared for the Acclimatisation Society and Mr Irwin for the boys, who all pleaded "guilty." Mr Hay agreed that the three charges relating to undersized fish be withdrawn. Mr Hay said that the minimum penalty under the regulations was 40 shillings and the maximum £50. The society was rather sorry to have to take proceedings, but it really had no option and could not overlook it. One of the young men had boasted that he had taken a similar number before. Mr Irwin said that the stream was very low at the time, and the fish must have been half dead for them to have got such a quantity. He ventured to say that there were very few people present in court who had not at some time or other done exactly the same thing. These boys were quite well behaved. He suggested that it would be out of all reason to fine them even the minimum. One of the boys was at school and the other three earning small wages at the Woollen Mills. The Magistrate remarked that apparently the boys were not using any explosives or instruments. Mr Hay said that another element in the case was that the parents must have been getting the fish. The Magistrate said he proposed adjourning each of those matters for six months. If at the end of that period the report of the probation officer was satisfactory and it was shown that the boys or their parents had reimbursed the society for all costs he would favourably consider an application to withdraw the charges.
Macabre prank ends in court
A considerable amount of the time of the Police Court yesterday was occupied with the hearing of charges arising out of a holiday escapade at Brighton about New Year time. Some of the residents showed their resentment against a well-known public man there by holding a mock burial service over his effigy and posting up notices obviously intended to ridicule him. Three men appeared to answer charges, first of using insulting behaviour within view of passers-by with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, and, secondly, with being idle and disorderly persons, in that they had on their persons, without lawful excuse, articles of disguise. The defendants, for whom Mr Hanlon appeared, pleaded "not guilty," and elected to be dealt with summarily. There had been acute feeling in the township of Brighton for the past two or three years. The ‘‘insulting behaviour’’ started on New Year’s Day, when an effigy was propped up on a section. The effigy was offensive in its general makeup and in particular because it ridiculed a natural defect from which the complainant suffered.  His Worship said that it certainly seemed to be a somewhat weird idea of humour. There were six masked men, one of them dressed as an undertaker. They poured black liquid on the effigy, and had difficulty in setting fire to it. — ODT, 14.3.1924
Compiled by Peter Dowden