Cod killers face fines

Some of the dead Murray cod and illegal fishing gear seized by fisheries officers.

EIGHT people have been fined a total of $6500 for separate illegal fishing offences near Pooncarie and Boggabri, NSW, for using excess setlines or “springers”.

In one incident, three men were apprehended on the Darling River near Pooncarie following a surveillance operation. The men were found using a total of 15 setlines to take five Murray cod, three of which were above the maximum size limit of 75 cm.

In the other incident, Fisheries Officers apprehended five men using 27 setlines on the Namoi River near Boggabri.

Setlines or ‘springers’ are an archaic and illegal form of fishing.

Fishers in western rivers are permitted to use up to two lines only which must be within a distance of 50 metres and line of sight.

Recreational fishers are reminded that the use and possession of illegal fishing gear in, on or adjacent to NSW inland waters can attract severe penalties.

Illegal fishing methods such as the use of setlines can have a damaging effect on native fish stocks, such a Murray Cod.

Members of the public are encouraged to report illegal fishing activity via the FishSmart NSW app or call the NSW Fishers Watch hotline on 1800 043 536.

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