NINE people have been found using illegal gill nets and cast nets throughout fresh waterways in the Gold Coast hinterland, prompting calls for fishers to refresh their knowledge of Queensland’s freshwater fishing rules.
Since January this year, Queensland Boating and Fisheries have confiscated 15 illegal nets and issued a number of $1138 on-the-spot fines for using mesh and bait nets in freshwater.
Patrol officer David Kahler said all of the nets were between 20-60 metres in length with a mesh size greater than 90mm.
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“While most specified recreational nets can be used in tidal waters, fishers should be aware that mesh nets are not allowed to be used in freshwater,” Mr Kahler said.
“Landing nets, scoop or dip nets, and dilly nets are permitted to be used; however all other nets, including cast and seine (bait) nets are illegal.
Mr Kahler urged fishers to exercise caution when purchasing products online, with many people admitting they had purchased their illegal nets over the internet.
“Fishers should take care when purchasing products online to ensure they can be legally used and possessed within Queensland. Possession includes having them at a property or in a vehicle,” he said.
If you suspect illegal fishing, whether seen in person or online, report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.
Don’t engage the person, as this can compromise an investigation.
For more information on fishing in Queensland, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.