'Foolish' Rotorua man failed to learn poaching lesson
A Rotorua man failed to learn his lesson after being booked for trout poaching offences, and “foolishly” went on to commit more just over a month later.
Twenty year-old Joshua Peri has been sentenced to 80 hours community work in the Rotorua District on a total of four charges from the two separate incidents.
Right: Anthony van Dorp with one of the hidden cameras used to snap poachers in the act.
Peri was caught by a Fish & Game Officer in a Rotorua stream in July, closed during the spawning season, and was charged with fishing closed waters and fishing without a licence.
Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp says that in spite of being summonsed to appear in Court, he went out and offended again, “failing to learn his lesson.”
He and two young companions were caught in another protected Rotorua spawning stream and a freshly killed rainbow trout recovered.
Peri was charged with the serious offence of disturbing spawning grounds which carries penalties of up to two years imprisonment and fines of up to $100,000. Peri was also again charged with fishing without a licence.
Mr van Dorp says being caught twice in quick succession showed a “pretty foolish failure to learn that going after trout in closed spawning streams can prove costly.”
Fish & Game staff have continued to take action against poachers. In the past week a total of 12 charges have been laid against six people, ranging from fishing without licences to disturbing spawning grounds and taking spawning fish.
Mr van Dorp says the charges relate to incidents which happened over a two week period ending in the middle of September.
“The six people were caught as a result of a mix of proactive work by Fish & Game staff and members of the public notifying us of suspicious behaviour.
“We appreciate these calls and urge the public to keep them coming – via the toll-free number, 0800-poaching (762-244). The information will be treated confidentially.
“If you care about conserving our fishing and other resources please let us know if you see suspicious goings on.”