Fishers urged to hook into rules book after fines issued
CENTRAL Queensland residents looking to enjoy a spot of recreational fishing are reminded to brush up on the rules about where they can and can't fish.
This reminder comes after a number of anglers were recently issued with on-the-spot fines for fishing in closed waters near the Fitzroy River Barrage.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer Gary Muhling said closed waters were important to ensure the long-term sustainability of our fisheries for future generations of anglers.
"Generally, local fishers stick to the rules and stay out of the closed waters, however we've recently received multiple complaints of illegal fishing around the Barrage," Mr Muhling said.
"Large numbers of fish are currently congregating below the Barrage to catch their breath before moving upstream to repopulate lakes and creeks that flow into the Fitzroy River.
"The closed waters at the Barrage are in place to protect these species from overfishing during this vulnerable time.
"The Fitzroy River is closed to all forms of fishing 400 m upstream and 400 m downstream of the Fitzroy River Barrage.
"Boats are also off limits 100 m upstream and 100 m downstream of the Barrage."
Mr Muhling said it was the responsibility of all fishers to know the rules before heading out.
"We all have a part to play in looking after our fisheries for current and future generations," he said.
"As part of a recent security upgrade to the Barrage, the Rockhampton Regional Council has increased signage, improved CCTV surveillance and introduced remotely operated spotlights and verbal warning systems.
"Any fishers caught in the area are knowingly doing the wrong thing and are liable for a $440 on-the-spot fine and risk a maximum penalty of $110,000.
"These rules help to conserve heavily exploited species and species susceptible to capture, share the catch among anglers and reduce illegal marketing of fish."
Fishers can view the rules online at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au and can always contact their local QBFP office on 13 25 23 to ask about any regulations specific to an area they plan to fish.
Anyone that suspects or witnesses illegal fishing activity is encouraged to call Fishwatch on 1800 017 116.
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