Fish & Game mount ‘active checks’ on areas including stream mouths
Eastern Region Fish & Game staff have been “actively checking” the anglers congregating at local stream mouths, especially on Lake Rotorua.
Right: Marco Bruckner caught seven trout near the Waiteti Stream mouth, releasing most.
“We’ve visited in particular, the Waiteti, Awahou and Hamurana streams on Lake Rotorua, as well as checking anglers fishing other locations in the wider district, ” says Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp.
As Lake Rotorua has warmed over summer, the number of fish gathered around the cold water flows at stream mouths has increased to produce at times, fantastic fishing, he says.
“It’s a big drawcard for local anglers and many who come from overseas to fish this area.”
Mr van Dorp says that as a result of their ranging operations in the last month, eight people are being dealt with for fishing-related offences at the Waiteti and Awahou stream mouths.
“The offences include seven of fishing without a licence, and others of fishing in closed waters, and providing false details to rangers,” he says.
“We are still working through the process of resolution for these offenders with the outcomes yet to be decided.
“But those who choose to break the law should expect that going to court is a strong possibility,” Mr van Dorp says.
Anglers are urged to make sure they hold a current trout fishing licence, and carry it with them to produce to rangers.
They must comply with rules such as the closure of the Awahou Stream to all fishing.
“The closure, now into its’ second year, provides a refuge for trout and leaves areas for children and swimmers to enjoy without people fishing around them.
“There is plenty of room for anglers off the Awahou Stream mouth in the lake itself, and good fishing to be had too in most cases,” Mr van Dorp says.
This season was also the start of a regulation change which has seen both fly and spin fishing permitted in all of Lake Rotorua, including all the stream mouths.
“This has so far been very successful with quite a number of people taking advantage of the changes and enjoying the opportunity to fish with a different method than has been allowed in the past at the Awahou Stream mouth”.
Rangers will continue their checks on the areas mentioned to make sure anglers are sticking to the rules, and not fishing illegally in closed waters or using bait, which is banned.
These offences are punishable by fines up to $5000 and forfeiture of fishing gear. Giving false details to a ranger is a serious offence with penalties of up to one year’s imprisonment and fines up to $100,000.
“We want people to enjoy the trout fishing on offer in these areas but that comes with a responsibility to do the right thing.
“We don’t want to have to prosecute people, but if they choose to take the chance of getting caught, that’s exactly what might happen - with costly consequences.”