Introduction

A sharp eye and swift communication led to the recovery of a gill net in Lake Taupo at the mouth of the Waitetoko River last weekend.

Date:  18 April 2013

Trout caught by an illegal net on Lake Taupo. Photo by Jill Larsen Welsh.
Trout caught by an illegal net on Lake Taupo

A sharp eye and swift communication led to the recovery of a gill net in Lake Taupo at the mouth of the Waitetoko River last weekend

Keen eyed anglers who had intended on a spot of fishing spied the net set at the mouth and quickly passed on the information to DOC and Police.

Both agencies attended the site and the net was recovered. It had been set in the mid afternoon and within three hours had caught eight mature trout and two juveniles. All of the mature fish were in prime condition and at least two of the fish, which were large brown trout, would have been superb breeding stock.

Unfortunately they didn’t get the chance to carry out their passage upstream to spawn.

“All anglers look forward to the spawning season, which appears to have already started. It’s a shame that some people continue to target this time of the year to set or drag nets, in and around the spawning areas, therefore catching and killing good potential breeding stock and causing damage to the spawning grounds” says Jill Larsen Welsh, Area Compliance Officer.

DOC will continue to monitor areas of interest at this time of year and will prosecute those involved in this type of illegal activity. Netting or spearing trout are offences against the Conservation Act 1987 and can attract maximum penalties of a fine up to $10,000 or a term of one year imprisonment. The Department considers this type of offending to be serious and will do their best to ensure those engaged in these activities are caught and prosecuted. A big thanks goes to those people who passed on information in such a timely manner, enabling DOC staff to respond immediately – your help is invaluable.

Vigilance by river and lake users is important in trying to tackle this problem. Any information received is treated in confidence and with seriousness, and where possible follow up action is taken. If you see anything suspicious please contact the duty officer at the Taupo-nui-a-Tia Area Office - +63 27 442 4962.

Contact

Kim Turia
Programme Manager Community Relations
DOC Taupō-nui-ā-tia Area Office
Ph: +64 7 384 7163
Email: kturia@doc.govt.nz

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