By Melissa Blewitt
Two men have been fined $2,600 for possessing set and unattended hand lines as well as for the mutilation of Murray Cod after they were caught out at Condobolin.
On 15 and 16 May 2021, NSW Fisheries Officers were conducting a routine patrol of the Lachlan River and Goobang Creek near Condoblin, where they located a number of unattended handlines set in Goobang Creek.
Surveillance was carried out on the lines and two males were spoken to in relation to the matter.
As a result of enquiries Fisheries Officers seized 18 sets and unattended handlines from the Goobang Creek; a further 30 handlines in their possession; four mutilated Murray Cod – filleted; nine opera house style yabby traps; and one gaff from the two men.
The two males were issued multiple penalty notices, totalling $2,600 and their fishing gear along with 6.35 kilograms of Murray Cod fillets was seized.
For inland waters excluding trout waters, two attended lines (hand lines or rods) with up to two hooks may be used. No setlines or unattended lines are permitted. On 30 April 2021 opera house style yabby traps were banned in NSW due to the risk posed to native wildlife.
From that date, up to five nets, comprised of either open pyramid lift nets, hoop / lift nets or a combination of both, can be used to catch yabbies in all inland waters where it is legal to use lift nets.
Members of the public are urged to report suspected illegal fishing activity by calling the NSW DPI Fishers Watch service on 1800 043 536 or report it online at https://bit.ly/3lhjcso