Illegal set line fishers snagged on Macintyre River

11 Jul 2017

Fisheries officer

A group of three fishers was apprehended and issued with hefty fines last month in the state’s north-west after they were found using 39 set lines – some baited with live carp – during a targeted patrol on the Macintyre River near Boomi.

NSW Department of Primary Industries District Fisheries Officer Joe Wright said the fishers had committed a series of offences, including the use of unattended fishing lines, using live fin fish as bait and being in possession of mutilated fish.

“Not only were the alleged offenders using 39 set lines, which were set on both the NSW and Queensland sides of the river, but 13 of them had been baited with live European carp,” Mr Wright said.

“The use of live fin fish as bait is totally prohibited in both NSW and Queensland inland waters, as is the use of set lines of every description.”

“In addition, the use of carp as bait whether live or dead is totally prohibited in Queensland waters and constitutes a serious offence.”

Fisheries officers seized the set lines, baits and nearly 12kg of fillets that are alleged to have come from 18 Golden Perch and 4 Murray Cod, with the majority of the fish believed to be caught on the unlawful set lines.

The alleged offenders have been issued with penalty notices totalling $3,500.

“In NSW inland waters it is only permitted to use a maximum of 2 fishing lines per person and when lines are left unattended, the lines must remain within 50m and the direct line of sight of the person using the lines,” Mr Wright said.

“It is also an offence to mutilate or be in possession of mutilated fish in, on or adjacent to NSW waters, unless the fish are about to be immediately consumed or used as bait. Any fish that anglers wish to retain for consumption may only be gilled and gutted while on or near the water.

“This allows fisheries officers to properly enforce bag and size limits and is in place to prevent the destruction of protected species, prohibited size fish and fish in excess of the possession limit.”

Anyone with information about suspected unlawful fishing activity is strongly encouraged to report it to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or online at

Media contact: Sarah Wright 02 6391 3686