Goolwa Beach is closed to recreational Pipi fishing, for bait and human consumption, (from Sunday 8 January 2017) as a precaution following the detection of E. coli levels above what is considered safe for human consumption on Goolwa Beach, adjacent to the Murray Mouth.
The closure includes the entire Goolwa Beach from the Murray Mouth to Middleton Point near Mill Terrace at Middleton.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture Director Policy Sean Sloan
We’ve closed Goolwa Beach to recreational fishing for Pipis, including for bait, until further notice. This is a precautionary measure following the detection of E. coli levels above what is considered safe for human consumption in waters adjacent to the Murray Mouth.
Our first priority is managing any potential public health risk associated with the high E. Coli levels and therefore it is important that we close the beach immediately.
Temporary signs have been erected at Goolwa Beach notifying the public of the closure. PIRSA Fisheries Officers and Fishcare Volunteers will be out patrolling Goolwa Beach and over the coming week to ensure everyone is aware of the closure.
Further testing will continue and PIRSA will advise the public when the water and shellfish quality is at a safe level for the fishery to reopen.
The recent blackwater event in the River Murray, following heavy rainfall and high water flows out of the Murray Mouth, is suspected to be a contributing factor resulting in the high E. coli levels.
Other Pipi fishing areas across the state are currently unaffected. Any Pipi caught by commercial fishers and sold at food outlets are safe for human consumption.
The recreational Pipi season runs annually from 1 November to 31 May on the Goolwa Beach.
Recreational fishing for Pipis is prohibited year-round on the Younghusband Peninsula (Coorong Beach) between the Murray Mouth and 28 Mile Crossing. This is a commercial fishing zone.
The waters around the Murray Mouth are regularly tested by The South Australian Shellfish Quality Assurance Program (SASQAP) to check bacteria and toxin levels. E.coli can cause food poisoning in humans and the public should not collect or consume any Pipi from this area.
Members of the public are urged to report large numbers of dead fish or other aquatic animals seen during the blackwater event to the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 065 522.
For more information on Pipi fishing visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing