Canal angler entangled in his own web of lies

  • 1/08/2023

Canal angler entangled in his own web of lies

An offender dealt with by Fish & Game was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling $1,900 in the Ashburton District Court for multiple sports fishing offences committed at the Mackenzie Basin hydro canals. 

The hydro canal fishery is the most popular freshwater sports fishery in New Zealand. 

James Kamoe of Ashburton pleaded guilty to three charges against the Conservation Act in the Ashburton District Court on Monday, 24th July. 

Kamoe was convicted of: fishing without a sports fishing licence and two charges of providing false and misleading information to a ranger. 

Kamoe’s offending was detected during a night-time compliance operation undertaken by Fish & Game Rangers during Labour Weekend 2022. 

Kamoe claimed he held a valid sports fish licence; however, subsequent enquiries showed this to be false. 

During further investigations, Kamoe claimed that he was not the person Fish & Game Rangers interviewed while fishing; instead, it was his cousin who had since returned home overseas. 

Fish & Game investigators invalidated Kamoe’s claims, visiting Kamoe to positively identify him as the person interviewed while fishing and reviewing NZ Customs Service records that showed that no person by the ‘cousins’ name during those dates had travelled out of New Zealand. 

Every person fishing for sports fish, including trout and salmon, is required under the Conservation Act to purchase and hold a valid sports fishing licence. 

Providing false or misleading information to a Fish & Game ranger is a serious offence with a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison or a $100,000 fine.   

Central South Island Compliance Coordinator Hamish Stevens said, “This result shows that anglers who are tempted to lie to rangers can expect to be caught out and face serious consequences”. 

“Anglers who are tempted to break the rules or fish without a sports fishing licence need to realise they are risking criminal conviction, fines and imprisonment.”

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