Fishermen on the hook for $6730 after being caught by rangers

Three Ashburton men picked the wrong night to go on a fishing trip to the Mackenzie hydro canals during Labour weekend last year.

The final of several court appearances relating to the fishing trip was completed in the Timaru District Court last week.

The men were encountered fishing on the Ohau C Canal near Twizel as part of a night 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, Fish & Game said in a statement yesterday.

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 $6730 in fines and costs.

Every person fishing for sports fish, including trout and salmon, is required under the Conservation Act to buy and hold a valid sports fishing licence and adhere to the regulations.

Providing false or misleading particulars to a Fish & Game ranger has a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison or a $100,000 fine.

Fish & Game Central South Island compliance co-ordinator Hamish Stevens said the convictions showed anglers who were tempted to mislead rangers could expect to be caught out and faced 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,’’ Mr Stevens said.

— Staff reporter