NASTY CATCH: Former Toogoom resident Don Watts with a large stonefish he hooked off the rock wall in Toogoom on Tuesday. The fish is regarded as one of the most venomous in the world.
NASTY CATCH: Former Toogoom resident Don Watts with a large stonefish he hooked off the rock wall in Toogoom on Tuesday. The fish is regarded as one of the most venomous in the world. Contributed

Venomous stonefish hooked off Fraser Coast beach

HE KNEW they were there, but he didn't expect to hook one.

While holidaying in the Fraser Coast, former Toogoom resident Don Watts told his wife Shelly they needed to be careful of stonefish in the area.

On Tuesday, he reeled in a stonefish, regarded as one of the most venomous fish in the world, from shallow waters near the end of Moreton St in Toogoom.

Despite having grown up hearing about the venomous fish in local waters, Mr Watts said he got a bit of a shock to see it on the end of his line.

"It was quite a big fish," Mr Watts said.

"This one was caught a few metres upstream where it shallows out and kids go exploring on the mud flats at low tide.

"I remember being told they lived around here when I was a kid riding my pushbike from Torbanlea."

After posing for a photo, Mr Watts released the large fish back into the water.

The animal is found throughout rocky outcrops and pools in northern Australia from Shark Bay, WA to Tweed River, NSW.

Earlier this year, Toogoom resident Daniel Wayne nearly stood on one while fishing off a boat ramp.

Stings from the animal are rare in the Wide Bay region, with only two patients sent to Hervey Bay Hospital between December 1, 2017 and January 7, 2018 for stone fish or stingray incidents.



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