Ignorance could net you a fine – know the rules

Tweed River
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Fishers are being warned to brush up on both Queensland and New South Wales fishing rules to ensure they comply when fishing in cross-border waterways.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) officer Coby Walker said he had noted an increase in the number of people being caught disregarding fishing rules on both sides of the border.

'The centreline of the Dumaresq, Macintyre and Barwon rivers (also known as the Border Rivers) forms the border between Queensland and New South Wales,' he said.

'Fishing rules often differ across borders, so people fishing the Border Rivers region need to know the rules that apply in each state.

'Many people don’t realise that although they set up camp on one side of the river, they must comply with the rules according to the state in which they are fishing.'

Mr Walker said fishers should pay particular attention to the rules for using bait in each state following a number of people being caught using illegal baits.

'Some fishers have been caught using live carp and goldfish as bait,' he said.

'Carp are declared noxious in Queensland, making it illegal to possess the fish either alive, dead or in parts (e.g. fillets).

'Goldfish are classed as non-indigenous so cannot be put into Queensland waterways alive or dead. It is not illegal, however, to catch and keep them for consumption.

'In Queensland, using noxious, non-indigenous and even some native fish as bait is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of $220,000.

'In New South Wales, some of these fish may be used as bait, however the use of live fish as bait is illegal. It pays to check the rules in each state and ensure you are fishing legally and responsibly.'

Mr Walker said QBFP often conducted joint operations with NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) to catch fishers disregarding fishing rules on both sides of the border.

'Queensland and New South Wales officers regularly work together throughout the border regions to ensure effective monitoring of the area, with officers authorised under both State’s legislation,' he said.

'Authorities on both sides of the river rely on the support of the public to help protect our fishing resources for future generations.

'Suspected illegal fishing activities should be reported to the Fishwatch Hotline on 1800 017 116 in Queensland, and the Fisher’s Watch Phone Line on 1800 043 536 in New South Wales.'

For more information visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or www.fishereis.nsw.gov.au.

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