Canterbury fishery officers received a call from a disgruntled member of the public in late July that a man was taking way too many fish from Lake Ellesmere.
The caller gave a brief description of the vehicle and the registration plate number. Fisheries officers arrived in time to stop the vehicle as it was leaving the lake.
The fisher was friendly when first approached, and when officers asked how many fish he had, he replied "only a couple".
Upon searching the vehicle the officers found 3 fish bins with a total of 111 flatfish, made up of sand flounder, black flounder and yellowbelly flounder, and 29 yellow-eyed mullet.
The recreational limit for flatfish is 30 per person, per day, which is more than enough to feed a large family several times.
The fisher admitted to setting and clearing 2 set nets. Recreational regulations permit a person to only fish 1 set net. This meant the yellow-eyed mullet were illegal even though there is no recreational limit on numbers.
The fish and the fisher's vehicle were seized. He is likely to face fisheries charges for taking more than 3 times the daily recreational limit.
Public information is the best intelligence the Ministry for Primary Industries receives. You don't need to be at the scene of the crime. If something you see seems fishy, tell us about it.
Call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224). All calls are confidential.