Info sought after illegal shooting report

More information is being sought following reports of unlawful duck-shooting activity on the Clutha River near the Roxburgh Gorge Trail during the season's opening weekend.

Otago Fish & Game chief executive Ian Hadland said further detail was being sought on reports of shots being fired from boats on May 4 and 5.

"We're trying to track down who it is. If anyone has any information we would love to hear about it."

Fish & Game 2019 regulations state shooting from a boat is prohibited on the Clutha River between May 4 and 12.

No description of the boat or hunters had been provided and Mr Hadland said they would need "a lot more detail to even start a discussion about what went on".

Central Otago sub-area supervisor Senior Sergeant Clint Wright confirmed nothing had been reported to police.

Mr Hadland said Otago Fish & Game had not engaged with police as there was limited information to provide. He said he believed the regulations remained up to scratch.

"All of our hunters have an obligation to maintain safe distances from dwellings and act responsibly but I don't think there is going to be any regulation changes of an incident where we only have hearsay evidence."

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan confirmed to the Otago Daily Times he called emergency services last year after he spotted shots being fired along the Clutha near Clyde, which culminated in a warning to hunters from police.

"I was with a group of golfers above the river at the Clyde course and heard the shots.

"People were on the track on the opposite bank at the time and we were all very concerned about shots being fired that close to people."

Roxburgh Gorge Charity Trust trustee and Central Otago Clutha Trails Co Ltd director Dr Barrie Wills, who raised community concerns at a Vincent Community Board meeting earlier this month, said the safety of people on the Roxburgh Gorge Trail was his main concern.

More than 4000 people had reportedly used the trail during April.

Mr Hadland said Otago Fish & Game had previously recommended signage be installed along the trail to alert trail users to duck-shooters.

"The problem is ... the edges of rivers are fair game for cycle trails and so on.

"We don't mind cycle trails going down there but there are going to be other users on the river who will have firearms."

Dr Wills said he had doubts as to how effective additional signage would be.

"I don't know how successful that would be. The only thing you could potentially do is put signage at the boat launch ramp in Alexandra. But to be honest, how many people read [the signs]? There's already quite a bit of signage already but very few people take any notice of it."

Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter