The number of offences detected by Otago Fish & game Rangers has dropped dramatically when compared to the same time last year.
Otago Fish & Game Council Operations Manager said last fishing season was one of the worst for a decade with 64 offenders being apprehended but so far this season, which is nearly over, the number sat at just 21 offenders.
“We are not sure if that is due to a lack of activity by anglers over what was a pretty average summer weatherwise or if it’s a general improvement in compliance overall. We’ll know more when all the ranger reports come in”. Mr Hadland said Mr Hadland said that publicity of some heavy fines for un-licenced angling and an increase in the number of licences sold and improvements in compliance is probably all related though.
Last week Gavin Livingstone was prosecuted in the Queesntsown District Court was convicted for fishing without a licence and providing misleading particulars to ranger and fined $2630.
Mr Hadland said publicity of these sort of fines deter offending against freshwater angling laws but in particular they send a message that trying to mislead warranted officers just isn’t worth it.
“The majority of that fine could have been avoided if the bloke told the truth the instant he was caught and actually, the whole matter could have been avoided entirely if he had bought a $20 day licence before he went out.
It’s that simple” Mr Hadland says