Three Charged After Poached Trout Seized At Spawning Stream
Three Rotorua men have been charged with possessing 17 trout poached from a closed spawning stream at Lake Rotoiti earlier this winter.
The three are to appear in the Rotorua District Court on 25 August 2016 charged with unlawful possession of sports fish.
Top right: The poached trout siezed along with an iron bar and a golf club.
Eastern Fish & Game officers say the group was intercepted after a car was spotted parked by the roadside on May 15, 2016.
Fish & Game and Police officers found the group including youths under 17, on private property near the spawning stream in possession of 17 “freshly killed trout in spawning condition”.
Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp says it is disturbing that Fish & Game is yet again dealing with poachers – not long after two local men were jailed for poaching after sentencing in the Rotorua District Court.
“Trout poaching such as this has the potential to severely impact on the trout fisheries Fish & Game manages,” says Mr van Dorp.
Wild born rainbow trout that are often taken make up an important part of Lake Rotoiti’s fishery, supplementing hatchery raised fish and providing genetic diversity, he says.
“As the most popular trout fishing lake in the Rotorua district, the success of the Lake Rotoiti fishery contributes significantly to tourism and the regional economy.”
Mr van Dorp says the low survival rate of a female trout’s eggs drops further if spawning grounds are disturbed, and poachers walking through spawning streams is enough to damage or kill trout eggs and young trout fry “which are at early stages in their lives and very vulnerable.”
The maximum penalty for trout poaching is two years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine.