FISHERS are being reminded that barramundi will be off limits in the Gulf of Carpentaria from midday 7 October 2017 until midday 1 February 2018.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) acting district officer Bill Nason said the closure was in place to protect barramundi stock during their vulnerable spawning season. “Barramundi typically aggregate in one area to spawn, making them more vulnerable to predators and fishing pressure,” Mr Nason said. “Closed seasons allow stocks to replenish to ensure there are healthy fish stores for current and future generations of Queenslanders. It’s important that barramundi are not targeted for catch and release during a closed season as the stress of capture may actually prevent the fish from spawning.”
Mr Nason said QBFP officers would be out patrolling Queensland waters over the spawning season. “Officers conduct regular patrols during closed seasons and those found doing the wrong thing are risking an on-the-spot fine of $504 and a maximum penalty of $121,900,” he said.
The closure does not apply in East Leichardt Dam and Belmore, Corella, Julius, Fred Tritton and Moondarra lakes, and to waterways upstream of these impoundments.
Throughout the Queensland east coast, a closed season also applies to barramundi from midday 1 November to midday 1 February, except in and from waterways upstream of:
* Aplins Weir (also includes Black Weir and Gleeson Weir)
* Ben Anderson Barrage (also includes Paradise Dam, Claude Wharton Weir, Jones Weir and Wuruma Dam)
* Burdekin Falls
* Fred Haigh (Lake Monduran)
* Peter Faust
* Wuruma Dams
* Lake Gregory (Isis Balancing Storage)
* Lake Morris (Copperlode Falls Dam).
Most of the exempted locations are waterways that are part of the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS). So remember to grab a permit before line fishing in any of the SIPS impoundments. Mr Nason said QBFP rely on the support of the public to help protect our fishing resources for future generations. “People who suspect illegal fishing are urged to do the right thing and report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116,” he said.
For more information on closed seasons for fishing in Queensland or to purchase a SIPS permit, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores.
You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).