NICE CATCH: Chris Reynolds with an estuary cod he caught on his boat about 80km out of the Gladstone harbour.
NICE CATCH: Chris Reynolds with an estuary cod he caught on his boat about 80km out of the Gladstone harbour. Contributed

Inspectors catch fishers breaking the rules

PEOPLE chasing fish in Gladstone waters in the past 12 months have been handed 120 notices by fishing inspectors and water police.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry inspected 1169 people in that time, dishing out 70 infringement notices and 50 official warnings.

Fisherman Chris Reynolds has been here since the 1960s.

"I've been pulled up three times in the harbour, one down the Awoonga Dam, one up at the Narrows and one on the reef," he said.

"They said I was doing everything by the book.

"The easiest thing to do is to get a tide chart and on the back of them is your species - what's your minimum and maximum length and bag limit."

He said people, particularly coming into the holiday season, needed to follow the rules.

"People used to catch two Eskys full of fish in 1967. Now you have to work hard to catch that many fish," he said.

"With bag limits, size limits and zones where you can't fish, we are starting to replenish the fish stocks."

Fisherman Darryl Branthwaite said people could be fined for a lack of safety gear onboard, overfishing and catching undersized fish.

"Another one is for fish being filleted when it should be brought back whole," he said.

"There is the odd person who is also caught out in a green zone. Green is a no-take zone where you can't fish."

Pick up Friday's Observer for the weekly Getting Out section with our fishing, sailing and surfing columnists.

What we're doing wrong:

  • Fishing with illegal equipment
  • Fishing in closed waters or during closed seasons
  • Taking freshwater fish without a permit from stocked dams
  • Not meeting conditions of commercial quota requirements


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