Murray cod season opens on December 1
Freshwater fishers will be able to fish in NSW waters for Murray cod again from Saturday 1 December after the three-month annual closure, according to NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Manager Fisheries Compliance Glenn Tritton.
"Murray cod, a prized catch of freshwater anglers, is one of Australia’s largest freshwater fish. It grows up to 1.8 m and can weigh more than 100 kg," he said.
"Every year a three-month ban on fishing from September to November protects this native species during its breeding season."
Mr Tritton said it was important for freshwater fishers to know of the changes to the NSW fishing rules in relation to Murray cod.
From 1 December 2007 the minimum legal length of Murray cod will increase to 55 cm and fishers can keep only one fish more than 100 cm in length. There is a daily bag limit of two per person per day and a total possession limit of four from either rivers or dams.
For the following season, from 1 December 2008 the minimum size of Murray cod will increase to 60 cm. These changes are to ensure that the fish have the opportunity to reach spawning size.
"A similar species, the endangered trout cod, is fully protected and fishers must release any trout cod they catch," Mr Tritton said.
Set lines are now banned, but fishers can use two attended lines in all inland waters except for areas closed to fishing and some notified trout waters.
NSW DPI Fisheries officers regularly patrol inland waterways to ensure fishers are following fishing rules for Murray cod.
Mr Tritton said Murray cod were stocked into inland rivers and dams as part of the NSW Government’s fish stocking program.
"Last year 263,000 Murray cod fry and fingerlings, bred at NSW DPI Narrandera hatchery, were released under the program, and another 201,000 were stocked through the Dollar-for-Dollar scheme funded by the NSW recreational fishing licence and community groups," he said.
Detailed information on freshwater fishing rules can be found on the NSW DPI website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries, and in the NSW DPI freshwater fishing guide and summary. These are available from NSW DPI Fisheries offices and most places where NSW recreational fishing licences are sold.
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