THE annual barramundi closed season along Queensland’s east coast starts from midday on November 1, 2017, effective through to midday on February 1, 2018.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Robert Russell said the closed season applies to all commercial and recreational fishers. “Fisheries officers will be stepping up surveillance during the barramundi closed season to protect this valued fish species during the summer wet season,” Mr Russell said. “It’s important that barramundi are not targeted for catch and release during a closed season as the stress of capture may actually prevent the fish from spawning. “Any fishers found taking barramundi during the closed season could face fines of more than $121,000 in court.”
The barramundi closed season in the Gulf of Carpentaria is already in place, effective from midday, October 7, 2017 to midday February 1, 2018.
The closure does not apply in exempted stocked waters in the Gulf of Carpentaria which include East Leichardt Dam, Belmore, Corella, Julius, Fred Tritton and Moondarra lakes, and to waterways upstream of these impoundments. Mr Russell said the only exceptions to the east coast barramundi closure were in and from stocked waterways upstream of:
- Aplins Weir (also includes Black Weir and Gleeson Weir)
- Awoonga Dam
- Ben Anderson Barrage (also includes Paradise Dam, Claude Wharton Weir, and Jones Weir)
- Burdekin Falls Dam
- Callide Dam
- Eungella Dam
- Fairbairn Dam
- Fred Haigh Dam (Lake Monduran)
- Kinchant Dam
- Koombooloomba Dam
- Lenthalls Dam
- Peter Faust Dam
- Teemburra Dam
- Tinaroo Dam
- Wuruma Dam
- Lake Gregory (Isis Balancing Storage)
- Lake Morris (Copperlode Falls Dam)
Most of the exempted locations are waterways that are part of the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme. So remember to grab a permit before line fishing in any of the SIPS impoundments. “Size and possession limits still apply to barramundi taken from these exempted waterways,” Mr Russell said.
“The minimum size limit for barramundi is 58cm, the maximum size limit is 120cm and the possession limit is one fish per person during the closure. In exempted waterways, the barramundi may be over 120cm and the possession limit is one per person. “Commercial fishers must also adhere to stringent restrictions placed on their netting operations to protect the high numbers of barramundi brood stock that move into estuarine waters. Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol relies on the support of the public to help protect our fishing resources for future generations. People who suspect illegal fishing activity during closed seasons should report it to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.”
For more information on closed seasons for fishing in Queensland, visit fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free ‘Qld Fishing’ app from Apple and Google app stores.
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