Illegal anglers targeted by NSW Department of Primary Industries before Murray Cod season

WATCHING: Fisheries officer have been actively patrolling, looking for fishers targeting Murray Cod whilst they are breeding. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
WATCHING: Fisheries officer have been actively patrolling, looking for fishers targeting Murray Cod whilst they are breeding. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

With just over two weeks remaining until the opening of Murray Cod season, most anglers are patiently waiting out the closure while the species are given the chance to breed and boost fish numbers for the future.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has been actively reminding anglers that it is illegal to target Murray Cod during the closed season.

The closed season for Murray Cod runs from September 1 to November 30 inclusively each year.

DPI’s Senior Fisheries Officer - North West Zone, Jason Baldwin said the three-month fishing closure for Murray Cod aims to protect the native species during its breeding season.

“Fisheries Officers have noticed people targeting Murray cod in the Gwydir River immediately upstream of Copeton Dam,” Baldwin said.

“Copeton Dam is the only waterway in NSW that is open to the targeting and taking of Murry cod, within the legal size limit of 55cm to 75cm, during the closed season.

“Anglers are still allowed to fish in the Gwydir River and other rivers and streams in NSW during the closure however they are not permitted to target or take Murray cod.

“In waterways other than Copeton Dam, anglers are encouraged to be mindful of the methods and gear that they are using, particularly the use of large lures.”

The boundary between the dam and the river is defined as ‘the point at which the flowing water of the river, meets the backed-up waters of the dam, regardless of the water level of the dam’.

Murray Cod are a prized catch for freshwater anglers, as they can grow up to 1.8 metres and weigh up to 100 kilograms.

Anyone with information about suspected illegal fishing activities is encouraged to report it to the Fishers Watch phone line, free call 1800 043 536.

On the spot fines of $500 can be issued for any anglers found unlawfully taking Murray cod.

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