Man claims rogue fishermen threatened to throw him in Fitzroy
SOME people would do anything for the perfect catch.
But Mick Callow (pictured) believes there's a limit on how far people should go in their pursuit of a good day's fishing.
The Rockhampton fisherman said he regularly sees people fishing inside the 400m exclusion zone in place on either side of the Fitzroy River Barrage.
On Saturday, Mr Callow told two men it was prohibited to fish within that area. He said they threatened to throw both him and his phone, which he had used to alert authorities, in the river.
This was the final straw for Mr Callow, who said the "fishing community has just about had enough of these people who are blatantly breaking the law".
With new net-free zones aimed at attracting more tourists and recreational fishers, Mick said he believed the problem would only get worse unless something was done.
Mr Callow said signage was inadequate around the barrage for people fishing on land and boaties travelling on the river.
"The signs are all down, or falling down," he said.
"That's not a good thing for tourism."
However, Mr Callow said there was also serious safety concerns when people fished on or close to the barrage.
Mr Callow said appointing fishing inspectors to Rockhampton, rather than just Gladstone or Yeppoon, would also improve the situation. "I think Rocky should get its fair share of inspectors," he said.
A Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said four Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officers were based in Yeppoon to also service Rockhampton.
"Over the last two financial years, 15 infringement notices have been issued for fishing within 400 metres of the Fitzroy River Barrage," the spokesperson said.
"This section is closed to fishing and boundaries are defined by advisory signs.
"Signs are not required by regulation in the location but are provided as an advisory service.
"QBFP has inspected the site and will work with the Rockhampton Regional Council to clear subject sites and reinstate signs."
Jason Plumb, Fitzroy River Water manager said there were clear laws in place around fishing in the exclusion zone.
"Council actively works with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as well as local police to ensure that those laws are enforced - without going into specifics, council contacted police just last week around reports of fishing in the exclusion zone," he said.
"Council is currently in the process of renewing signage in the area and we would encourage anyone who witnesses people fishing within the exclusion zone to contact fisheries on their 24-hour hotline 1800 017 116 to report illegal behaviour."