SPAWNING SEASON: A closed season applies to Mary River and Murray cod from tomorrow.
SPAWNING SEASON: A closed season applies to Mary River and Murray cod from tomorrow.

Closed season will keep Mary River cod safe: letter

A CLOSED season applies to Mary River cod and Murray cod from tomorrow to November 30 this year.

The annual closure during spawning season is an important measure to allow the species to reproduce so there are viable stocks of these fish for future generations to enjoy.

For Mary River cod, the closure applies to all Queensland non-tidal waters, including stocked impoundments.

The closed season for Murray cod applies only to Queensland waters within the Murray Darling Drainage Division.

An exception to this closed season applies to Beardmore, Beehive, Connolly, Cooby, Coolmunda, Glenlyon, Leslie and Storm King dams where the fish are stocked.

If fishing for Murray cod at one of the stocked dams where the closure does not apply, a minimum size limit of 60cm, maximum size limit of 110cm and a possession limit of two applies.

All fishers aged over 18 years must also have a stocked impoundment permit for recreational freshwater fishing except at Beardmore dam which is not included on the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS).

Changes have been made to legislation to give greater protection to Mary River cod and Murray cod in 2014.

Outside the closed season, Mary River cod is a no-take species in all waters except upstream of the walls of Cressbrook, Hinze, Maroon, Moogerah, North Pine, Somerset and Wivenhoe dams, and lakes Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam) and Clarendon.

It has been found that Mary River cod are breeding in the waters within and upstream of these impoundments, so a three-month closure was implemented to protect them during their spawning period.

Fish caught during the spawning season puts them and their ability to breed at risk.

For this reason, the closure has been expanded to include all Queensland non-tidal waters.

If you suspect illegal fishing report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116. Do not approach the people involved, as this can compromise an investigation.

For more information on Queensland fishing rules, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au call 132 523 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores.

COBY WALKER,

Queensland Boating and Fisheries patrol officer



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