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Illegal fishermen cop fines totalling $5200

A GROUP of fishermen has been fined a total of $5200 after they were found illegally fishing on the Macquarie River downstream of Narromine, says the Department of primary Industries (DPI).

Acting fisheries compliance director Tony Andrews, says the fines were the result of a targeted operation by fisheries officers.

“A number of fisheries offences were detected including the use of 41 unattended lines that were set and left unattended, possession of fish illegally taken, the use of 31 live finfish as a lure or bait to take fish on inland waters, the use of a gaff to take fish on inland waters and a master of a boat not preventing a serious fisheries offence taking place, says Mr Andrews.

“Seven people were apprehended by fisheries officers and admitted to the offences when interviewed.

“Officers seized 41 set lines, two gaffs and 31 European carp and fines totalling $5200 and a number of written cautions were issued to the members of the camp.

"Unattended lines and other illegal fishing gear are prohibited for a reason as their use poses a very real risk to the sustainability of our native fish populations and other protected fauna,” he says.

A maximum of two attended fishing lines are permitted in New South Wales inland waters.

Attended lines must be within 50m and in the line of sight of the person who is using the line, says Mr Andrews.

“The use of live finfish as bait is prohibited in NSW as it presents biosecurity risks to our waterways through the potential spread and transmission of noxious aquatic diseases through the transfer of fish from one body of water to another,” he says.

Meanwhile, the season for general trout streams and artificial lure and fly streams re-opened on October 4 after the annual four-month closure.

“The . . . closure allows trout to travel up rivers and streams to breed uninterrupted,” says senior inland fisheries manager Cameron Westaway.

“Many of our rivers and streams have also benefited from our fish stocking program, with a total of 2.9 million rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and Atlantic salmon released across NSW in 2013 and 2014.

“Well-stocked waterways . . . will no doubt entice fishers to head to their favourite fishing spot such as the Thredbo and Eucumbene Rivers in the Snowy Mountains, the Fish River near Bathurst, Lake Wallace and Thompson’s Creek Dam near Lithgow and many streams in the New England area,” says Mr Westaway.

And Mr Andrews has encouraged anglers to enjoy the trout season but also to be mindful of the rules, including some changes to bag limits and possession limits, from Monday, November 3.

“The size and bag limits for trout and salmon in general trout streams, general trout dams, artificial fly and lure streams and trout spawning streams remain the same this season,” he says.

“However, starting on November 3, in all other inland waters the daily limit for trout and salmon will be reduced from 10 to five and the possession limit will be reduced from 20 to 10, in line with the existing bag and possession limits for general trout streams and dams.

“Our fisheries officers will be out across the state . . . throughout the season to ensure fishers are following the rules – people found in breach of fishing regulations may face on-the-spot fines.

“Our recreational fishing regulations and guidelines have been put in place to safeguard our fish stocks for present and future generations,” Mr Andrews says.

 

 
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