Men fined over illegal fishing

FOUR men have been issued thousands of dollars in fines after pleading guilty to illegally targeting native inland species in the Macquarie River in 2012, Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Supervising Fisheries Officer, Jason Baldwin, said.

“DPI Fisheries Officers conducted a patrol of the Macquarie River near Warren in February 2012 where they found four men using prohibited fishing gear,” Mr Baldwin said.

“The men, aged 20 to 29 from Gunnedah were using illegal fishing methods to target native inland fish species including using excess hand held lines, using prohibited baits and being in possession of prohibited fishing gear.”

Fisheries Officers apprehended the four men and seized:
• 90 rigged handlines
• 11 drift lines
• 1 Monofilament cast net
• 7 prohibited traps
• 23 live carp

“Fishers can only use or be in possession of two rigged handlines per person in the inland waters of NSW, with a maximum of 2 hooks per line,” Mr Baldwin said.

“The offenders attended Warren Local Court last month and plead guilty to a number of charges including use more than two hand held lines in inland waters, use drift line for taking fish from any waters, possess prohibited fishing gear (cast net), possess prohibited fishing gear (63 rigged handlines), possess prohibited fishing gear (7 prohibited traps), use live finfish as lure or bait to take fish from inland waters.

“Two of the offenders also plead guilty to failing to pay the recreational fishing fee. Each man was fined $2500, as well as $660 professional costs and ordered to pay court costs.

“These convictions send a clear message that the use of illegal and excess fishing gear and using prohibited baits are serious offences with tough penalties attached. It is against the law to set and leave hand lines unattended, fishers must be within 50 metres and within line of sight of their fishing lines.”

To report illegal fishing, visit your nearest fisheries office, report online at or call the Fishers Watch Phoneline in 1800 043 536.

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