Murray crayfish open for fishing from May 1
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Fishers looking to catch Murray crayfish this year are being reminded to make sure their NSW fishing licence is current and they know the rules, as the open season for the native species gets underway on Sunday, May 1.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), Director Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said there are a number of rules in place to protect the species that are mainly found in the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Edward Rivers.
“Murray crayfish are a very slow growing species so it is important that any anglers fishing for the species follow the rules to ensure the sustainability of the species,” Mr Tritton said.
“The annual Murray crayfish season is limited to four months of the year, May to August, to avoid the over-fishing of this valued native species.
“A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required for all types of fishing in NSW, including Murray crayfish, and there are bag and size limits in place.
“In addition, a new penalty of $75 now applies if fishers do not have the licence in their immediate possession.
“Crayfish measuring devices and advisory material are freely available from NSW DPI fisheries offices and most tackle outlets to assist fishers to understand and adhere to the rules.
“Our fisheries officers will be out in force during the Murray crayfish season to ensure that the rules are being followed.”
Fishers are advised that it is now illegal to use any nets, except a landing net as an ancillary to a rod or line, above Lake Hume in the upper Murray River from its junction with and including Seven Mile Creek at Talmalmo.
The main Murray crayfish rules are:
- A daily bag limit of five applies with a total of 10 in possession. They must have a carapace (head) length of at least nine centimetres (measured from the rear of the eye socket to the centre rear of the carapace), but only one crayfish greater than 12 centimetres may be kept.
- They can only be taken during the months of May, June, July and August.
- A ban applies to taking Murray crayfish in trout waters and Blowering Dam.
- Any female crayfish taken that are carrying eggs must be returned to the water immediately. Removing claws, head or tail in, on or adjacent to water is also illegal.
- Five hoop nets per person are permitted with the letters ‘HN’ and the user’s name and address on the float.
NSW Recreational fishing licences are available at many bait and tackle shops, some Kmart stores or by calling
1300 369 365 or online at www.licence.nsw.gov.au.
For more information on Murray crayfish visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational.
Media contact: Alyssa Fitzgerald (02) 6391 3686 or 0459 141 561