A trout poacher has been given a jail sentence for carrying out what a judge labelled a slaughter in a stream near Rotorua.
Thomas Tawha and David Leef were found guilty last November of poaching as many as 60 spawning trout from a stream near Lake Rotiti.
Today in the Rotorua District Court, Tawha was jailed for a year, while Leef failed to show up and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Fish & Game Officer Anthony van Dorp said the sentence sent a message to would-be poachers that the offending was taken seriously by the Courts.
"It's a significant penalty and I think it'd be a foolish person that fails to heed notice of the fact that this sentence has been imposed today."
Mr van Dorp said Fish and Game would transfer juvenile trout to help replenish the stream's stocks.