Setline fishers caught out

TWO men have been apprehended in southern inland NSW after allegedly being found in possession of illegal fishing gear and illegally taking native fish using setlines, said Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Manager, Special Operations, Tony Andrews.

“Fisheries officers conducted patrols across the Riverina area during the Victorian Labour Day long weekend over the 8th and 9th of March,” Mr Andrews said.

“During the patrol, two men, both aged 62, from Yenda, were apprehended on the Wakool River, near Wakool.

“It is alleged the men were found illegally using 25 setlines in the waters of the river over a distance of two kilometres.

“The men had illegally taken two Murray Cod, 97cm and 60cm in length on the setlines. A non-target long-necked turtle was also caught on the setlines but was successfully removed and released alive by fisheries officers.

“The two dead Murray Cod, 25 setlines and two gaffs, which are not permitted in inland waters of NSW, were seized.”

Up to two attended lines, either handlines or rod and line, are permitted in general inland waters and they must be within 50 metres and in your line of sight. Hand lines are not permitted in trout waters or closed waters. Any spare lines must not be rigged or capable of taking fish.

The two men will each be issued a number of penalty infringement notices for offences including possession of illegal fishing gear and fish illegally taken related to the use of setlines and will receive total fines of $1500 each.

“Setlines which are baited hooks on lines that are attached to trees or snags along the waters edge, can have devastating consequences for native fish populations, where many native fish seek refuge,” Mr Andrews said.

“Fisheries officers are calling on people who are considering fishing using illegal methods, to think twice. As well as stealing native fish, the use of illegal fishing methods endanger non-target species like turtles, native water rats, platypus and waterbirds.”


Anyone with any information about illegal fishing should contact the Fishers Watch phoneline on 1800 043 536 or online at

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