Cr Stephen Schwarten sitting on the fence that is meant to keep people out of the barrage area.
Cr Stephen Schwarten sitting on the fence that is meant to keep people out of the barrage area. Allan Reinikka

Bid to fence in no-go fishing zone

MISCREANTS ignoring signs that the Fitzroy River Barrage is a no-go zone for fishing may find themselves fenced out, or in, in the future.

Rockhampton Regional councillor Stephen Schwarten has submitted a notice of motion for next week's council meeting, recommending a three-metre high fence be erected in Pattison St, along the southern bank of the river.

Cr Schwarten lodged the notice of motion yesterday after receiving reports of people illegally fishing off the barrage; only weeks after the Morning Bulletin snapped a photograph of a group using spears and fishing rods to catch fish.

"Illegal fishing has been occurring adjacent to the fish ladder for a long time and must be brought to a halt," Cr Schwarten said.

"While a high fence may not offer a complete solution, it will surely make it more difficult for these miscreants to gain access to the fish ladder, where they are able to virtually pluck the fish out of the river.

"A fence will also make it difficult for offenders to escape and therefore much easier for them to be apprehended."

He said the fishers might as well be "shooting fish in a barrel'', as it was easy to catch them while they swam up-stream through a confined area of water.

Cr Schwarten would also request information on what penalties could be imposed for trespassing and more visible signs showing where people could fish on the southern side of the river.

"It is a shocking indictment on the council bureaucracy that such action by an elected representative is necessary to cause the area to be fenced off in a manner similar to what is in place on the northern bank."



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