A man jailed for his involvement in large-scale trout poaching sends a strong message the courts take the offence seriously, Fish and Game says.
David Pake Leef was sentenced to four months jail at the Rotorua District Court yesterday.
Leef and Thomas Tawha were convicted in November 2014 of poaching up to 60 spawning trout from a stream near Lake Rotoiti.
Tawha was jailed for six months in April last year, but Leef failed to appear for sentencing, an arrest warrant was issued and he was found last week.
Fish and Game spokesperson Grant Dyson said would-be poachers have been put on notice.
"If you think you can go down to your local stream and take a trout illegally, well, think again.
"You can be caught and you can wind up behind bars."
Mr Dyson said it was one of the worst cases he had seen because many of the fish were in prime breeding condition.