Targeted patrols in South West NSW have clamped down on illegal fishing with more than $13,000 in infringement notices issued for offences related to native species.
Patrols on the Murray River during their annual three-month breeding closure uncovered six incidences of Murray Cod being taken illegally.
Fisheries officers seized 12 Murray Cod under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, 11 of which were under the prohibited size.
In one instance two men near Nangiloc were found in possession of five Murray Cod outside the legal size limit and were fined $2,200, and a man who was found with a 50cm Murray Cod near Barmah was issued with fines of $1,000.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Acting Director of Fisheries Compliance Dr Andrew Moriarty stressed the importance of observing breeding closures.
“It is imperative that annual fishing closures are respected in order to protect their breeding season for native fish,” Dr Moriarty said.
“Any fish accidentally caught while a closure is in place for that species should immediately be returned to the water.”
Other offences detected included:
- Taking a protected Trout Cod near Barmah, for which a 24-year-old Victorian man was issued a $2,500 fine
- Six instances involving five individuals exceeding the daily Golden Perch limit of five near Mildura. Fines of $500 were issued for each incident.
- Two men each fined $500 for joint possession of seven vulnerable Silver Perch near Mildura
“Our Fisheries Officers will continue to patrol weirs and locks to target bag limit offences of congregating Golden Perch, and fisheries targeting Murray Cod before the end of the fishing closure on 1 December,” Dr Moriarty said.
To report illegal fishing, call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800