Spring marks the start of seasonal fishing closures
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Anglers are being reminded to take note of a number of seasonal fishing closures which come into effect on September 1, with heavy fines for those caught fishing illegally, NSW Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, said today.
The Murray cod season will be closed from September 1 to November 30 to protect this native species during its breeding season, Mr Macdonald said.
Although rivers and dams remain open to fishing during these three months, it is an offence take or attempt to take or target Murray cod.
"Murray cod, which are mainly found in the Murray Darling River system, are a prized catch of freshwater anglers.
"It is one of Australias largest freshwater fish growing up to 1.8 m and weighing up to 50 kg. We close the season for three months every year, so there will be more Murray cod for fishers in the future.
The trout cod, a threatened species and close relative of the Murray cod (found in parts of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers alongside Murray cod) and the eastern cod (found in the upper Clarence River in north eastern NSW) are totally protected all year round.
Trout cod can be differentiated from Murray cod by their overhanging upper jaw, convex forehead and spotted markings, Mr Macdonald said.
The trout cod protection area on the Murray River between Yarrawonga Weir wall and Tocumwal Road bridge is also closed to all forms of fishing during the Murray cod closed season.
Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) Senior Inland Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway, said the Murray crayfish season also closes from September 1 to April 30 to protect the species during its dormant period.
"Murray crayfish are the largest of spiny freshwater crayfish in NSW and the second largest freshwater crayfish in the world," Mr Westaway said.
"They provide the basis of a popular recreational fishery in many areas of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers and are considered an iconic species within this system.
Fishers are also reminded that fishing for Murray crayfish is prohibited at all times in notified trout waters and in Blowering Dam.
I&I NSW Fisheries Compliance Manager Glenn Tritton said anyone caught fishing illegally during the scheduled closures risks heavy fines and a potential jail term.
"Fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and improve the States fisheries resources for future generations. Mr Tritton said.
Anyone who is unsure of the rules and regulations should contact their local fisheries office before they go fishing."
Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the Freshwater fishing guide available online at www.industry.nsw.gov.au, your local fisheries office and most tackle outlets where NSW recreational fishing licences are sold.
Media contact: Sarah McGregor 0427 075 167