Recreational fishers are being reminded to brush up on their knowledge of the correct Murray Cod handling techniques ahead of the season start on New Year's Day.
The Murray Cod fishery will open on 1 January 2017, allowing fishers to catch and release the popular species until 31 July.
The following handling techniques are recommended:
- avoid using light lines and playing the fish to exhaustion
- use barbless hooks or barbless trebles on lures
- use a knotless landing net to support the fish in the water
- cut the line outside the mouth for deep hooked fish and don't try to remove the hook
- if using a fish grip, don't hold the fish vertically in the water.
Failure to comply with the rules and regulations, including lifting the Murray Cod out of the water, which can be detrimental to the fish health, can result in hefty on-the-spot fines or a maximum penalty of $10,000 if prosecuted.
Quotes attributable to Fisheries and Aquaculture Director Operations, Peter Dietman
We encourage recreational fishers to enjoy the catch and release season, while also ensuring this iconic species is treated and handled with extreme care.
Murray Cod have very soft skin, which is susceptible to damage from poor handling, and are generally larger, heavier fish. We remind fishers to take care when releasing the fish, which must be done submerged in water so no damage is caused to their mouth, gills or body.
It is illegal to lift Murray Cod out of the water and anyone who is caught doing so will be fined. Everyone must play a part in protecting the long-term sustainability of our fisheries.
The Murray Cod catch and release arrangements have been in place since 2011 to provide
ongoing protection to Murray Cod stocks.
Under the current Murray Cod management arrangements, it is also illegal to target or take
Murray Cod from any section of the Chowilla floodplain all year round.
Anyone who spots suspicious illegal fishing activity can report it to the 24 hour Fishwatch number 1800 065 522 or through the free SA Recreational Fishing Guide app, which can be downloaded from www.pir.sa.gov.au/recfishingapp