Minority of anglers push state law
THERE’S nothing fishy about throwing a line into Leslie Dam, but what about waiting for nibbles on the end of multiple rods?
The Warwick fishing community has been in a frenzy over reports anglers are pushing State Fisheries laws to the brink, with one fishing source saying catches were being transported to Brisbane destined for restaurant tables.
Concerns about over-fishing have been raised about groups of people with numerous lines at the dam.
A Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol spokeswoman confirmed three recent complaints were received via the Fishwatch hotline that a person or persons were fishing and selling fish illegally at Leslie Dam.
“During the weekend Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol investigated the claim,” the spokeswoman said.
“The taking of fish for sale, other than by licensed fishers, is prohibited in Queensland.
“Please note that a Stocked Impoundment Permit is not a licence to sell fish.
“Those recreational fishing at Leslie Dam who were inspected over the weekend were found to be fishing within the law. All were fishing with the correct amount of gear and all had valid Stocked Impoundment Permits.”
Warwick and District Fish Stocking Association president Roger Martin said it was a matter of authorities catching anglers in the act of breaking the rules.
Mr Martin said his group was in charge of sourcing government funding to ensure there’s enough fish stocked in the district’s rivers and in Leslie and Connolly dams for the past 23 years.
“This type of conduct is not a new thing, but there’s not much we can do about it,” Mr Martin said.
“Previously we’ve made complaints (to Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries), but as soon as they come from Roma they’re off.”
“It's like they have a grapevine network, it’s frightening.”
Australian Recreational and Sport Fishing Industry Confederation chair Russell Conway said the body did not condone illegal fishing practices.
“Recreational fishers are environmentally conscious and comply with stipulated size and bag limits,” Mr Conway said.
“All States and Territories have tight regulations.
“No person can take fish for the purpose of sale or business, or sell fish or marine plants, unless they hold the appropriate commercial licences.”
He said that “unfortunately” there was a small minority who did the wrong thing.
“If restaurants are creating a demand for this type of thing it’s becomes a food safety issue,” Mr Conway said.
“Restaurants should only buy from authorised wholesalers. Recreational fishers are not allowed to sell or exchange their catch.
“If people see others doing the wrong thing, we urge them to contact their local fisheries authorities immediately.”
Fishing rules facts
- Anglers fishing recreationally in Queensland freshwaters must abide by the following rules:
- No more than six fishing lines or set lines alone or in combination can be used per person.
- Fishing lines must not be set as a cross line.
- Only one hook or artificial fly or lure can be attached to the fishing line.
- Anyone using a set line must be no more than 200m from the line.
- If fishing in a stocked impoundment such as Leslie Dam, fishers must purchase a permit.
Any suspected illegal fishing activities should be reported to the 24-hour, toll-free, Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.