Illegal fishermen caught on the barrage ‘shooting fish in a barrel'
Illegal fishermen caught on the barrage ‘shooting fish in a barrel'

Crackdown on illegal fishing

CR STEPHEN Schwarten this week vowed to crack down on illegal anglersfishing off the Fitzroy River barrage.

He said it was "like shooting fish in barrel" and un-Australian.

He raised this issue at a council meeting last month and called for a crackdown on what's become an increasingly common practice.

On Thursday afternoon a resident tipped off The Morning Bulletin to a group of seven, including teenagers and children, fishing on the southern side of the barrage.

It appeared they were plucking fish out every few minutes using a spear and fishing rods.

The resident said it was happening almost daily and a diary was being kept with descriptions of the offenders.

The resident had also contacted the authorities after each incident.

Cr Schwarten said it was illegal to trespass on council property, and offenders faced fines of up to $500.

He described the practice as a complete corruption of the sporting fisherman's code.

He said the adults and teenagers may 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 suggested the "rotten practice" could be stomped out by a two-metre fence around the facility and ramping up patrols to catch illegal fishers in the act.

"At least when angling the fish have a chance," Cr Schwarten said.

"In that situation fish have no chance, and they (the offenders) are depriving other people of the benefit of going out and fishing."

The resident reported seeing three from the group still at the site at 7pm and yesterday reported three people at the site.

The Morning Bulletin was unsuccessful in its attempt to contact a council spokesperson yesterday.



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