19 Nov 2014

Poaching pair damaged trout stock

6:43 pm on 19 November 2014

Two men found guilty of taking trout near Lake Rotoiti were behind one of the worst poaching cases in a decade, according to Fish and Game.

David Leef and Thomas Tawha faced several charges including having a net and disturbing the spawning of rainbow trout in June and July this year.

A judge had earlier entered a not guilty plea on their behalf because they claimed the court had no jurisdiction. However, both were found guilty this afternoon.

Eastern Fish and Game region manager Andy Garrick said they had poached as many as 60 spawning trout, and in doing so had dealt a serious blow to local breeding stocks and future fish numbers.

Leef and Tawha would be sentenced early next year.

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