A SEARCH of a Fraser Coast waterway has so far failed to uncover evidence of a crocodile in the area but the hunt isn't over yet.

This is after several reported sightings of a crocodile lurking in the Eli Ck area.

In response, wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science conducted an extensive survey of the area on Thursday, travelling by boat along the creek and searching for slide and track marks or flattened spots on the creek banks that would indicate the presence of a crocodile.

While Hervey Bay is not classified as traditional crocodile country, they have been known to inhabit the Mary River further south.

 

DES preparing to search Eli Ck after several reported crocodile sightings.
DES preparing to search Eli Ck after several reported crocodile sightings.

A spotlight search of Eli Creek is scheduled for next week in a further attempt to find any evidence of the presence of a crocodile.

Warning signs have been installed and remain in place in the area, including at the Gatakers Bay boat ramp and wildlife officers will continue to monitor the area.

 

An aerial image shows where the croc warning signs have been placed.
An aerial image shows where the croc warning signs have been placed.

A spokesman for DES said members of the public were encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible, by calling 1300 130 372.

"There have been several recent reported unconfirmed sightings of a crocodile in the Eli Creek area," they said

"On 24 September 2020, a member of the public reported what they believed to be a crocodile to DES.

"On 22 October 2020, a member of the public photographed what they believed to be a crocodile in the mouth of Eli Creek, and shared it on social media."

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, Eli Creek in Hervey Bay is in Zone F (Atypical Habitat Zone).

This means that any crocodile confirmed to be present, regardless of size, is targeted for removal.

"Hervey Bay is not typically known as Croc Country, but people in the area are reminded to be Crocwise until wildlife officers have conducted next week's spotlight survey."

Signs officers look for include slide marks on muddy banks.
Signs officers look for include slide marks on muddy banks.

CROC WISE TIPS

Obey all warning signs - they are there to keep you safe

Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night

Stay well away from croc traps - that includes fishing and boating

The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards or swimming

Stand back from the water's edge when fishing and don't wade in to retrieve a lure

Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water

Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp

Never provoke, harass or feed crocs

Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead

Remember, you are responsible for your own safety

Report all croc sightings to DES by calling 1300 130 372.



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