SOME fishers still have a way to go when it comes to complying with rules and regulations, following a recent operation targeting fishers since the opening of the NSW Murray cod season, DPI Director of Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said.
"Ten Fisheries Officers worked in four teams patrolling from the South Australian border to the Snowy Mountains in the south west of NSW including the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers," Mr Tritton said.
"A total of 490 fishers were checked by officers with about 89 per cent of people complying with the rules and regulations.
"Twenty-seven penalty notices were issued for a number of alleged offences including failing to purchase or carry a NSW recreational fishing licence, fishing in closed waters and possession of prohibited size Murray cod and threatened species.
"Investigations are also continuing into some alleged unauthorised reclamation works downstream of Wagga Wagga in the Murrumbidgee River, which may result in a range of sanctions being issued including remediation orders to restore the affected areas.
"In addition, a number of fish and fishing gear were seized, including six Murray cod, three trout cod, eight silver perch, five yabby traps and six fish traps."
Mr Tritton said the message just isn't getting through to some fishers.
"Two men were also apprehended with three Murray cod in the Murrumbidgee River on the Friday prior to cod opening," he said.
"Both men each received $500 penalty notices, while another man who was also detected lifting a large illegal fish trap was issued with a $500 penalty notice.
"Ignorance is not an excuse, it is the responsibility of all fishers to be aware of the rules and if in doubt, check with your local fisheries office or obtain a copy of the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide, which is available from DPI offices and most places where NSW recreational fishing licences are sold.
"Illegal fishing affects everyone and fisheries officers will continue to target offenders who blatantly disregard the rules which are in place to protect our fisheries resources for present and future generations."
To report illegal fishing, phone the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536
To purchase a Recreational Fishing Licence visit www.licence.nsw.gov.au.