Illegal fishers in hot water

A NUMBER of illegal fishers have been caught during a four month operation targeting illegal fishing at power stations on the NSW Central Coast.

Fisheries NSW Director of Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said the power stations attracted a high number of fishers during the cooler months as warm waters are discharged from the Vales Point and Eraring power station outlet canals.

“The warm water attracts large numbers of prohibited size fish which also attracts some unscrupulous fishers to the area,” Mr Tritton said.

“As a result, a closure is in place in these waters during May 1 to August 31, banning the taking of fish from these areas from 6pm to 6am.

“NSW Fisheries Officers conducted numerous patrols of the area as part of the multi-phase operation, detecting 56 people illegally fishing in the hot water outlets and nearby waters, including the Lake Macquarie Recreational Fishing Haven.

“Officers issued the alleged offenders with 48 penalty notices.

“During the second phase of the operation starting on 1 September, an additional 18 people were detected with 10 penalty notices issued for a range of offences..

“Offences included taking fish from declared waters, possess fishing gear in prohibited waters, possess prohibited size fish, possess more than the possession limit and fail to pay the recreational fishing fee.

“Many of the charges carry maximum penalties of $44,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment for second and subsequent offences.

“Almost $20,000 worth of fines were issued by Fisheries Officers over the four month operation.”

Fisheries Officers also seized seven fishing rods and reels and 131 individual fish including yellow fin bream, tarwhine and tailor.

Information regarding illegal fishing can be reported to the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536 or online at

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