THE capture of one of the Mary River crocodiles may have prevented an increase in the croc population, as it is believed the 3.1m female is about to lay a clutch of eggs.
The crocodile was caught close to the Lamington Bridge near Tinana after a struggle with Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers about 2am on Thursday.
A non-lethal harpoon was used before the croc was restrained with a piece of rope.
Ranger Greg O'Neill, who took part in the capture, said the reptile's struggle continued for another two hours, causing damage to the boat used by the rangers, which was only slightly bigger than the croc itself.
It took another hour-and-a-half to tow the crocodile back to the boat ramp in what would normally be a 10-minute trip, as the boat was only able to travel at a rate of three knots.
At the boat ramp near Lamington Bridge, police helped load the crocodile onto a waiting trailer.
Mr O'Neill said rangers had regularly searched with a spotlight for the two crocodiles confirmed to be in the river, but both were wary of humans and did not take baits that had been left in several traps along the river.
Minister for Environment Andrew Powell came to see the captured crocodile, as did Maryborough MP Anne Maddern.
Mr Powell said the crocodile would be examined to confirm its sex and whether it was about to lay eggs.
It was kept in a trailer at the SunWater facility in Tinana on Thursday until a team from a Rockhampton crocodile farm arrived to take the reptile to its new home.
A larger crocodile, believed to be a male, remains in the river.