Fishermen face fines for catching barra during flood

A group of Biloela residents showing off the haul of barramundi they caught in the creek downstream from Callide Dam during the recent flood. Photo Contributed
A group of Biloela residents showing off the haul of barramundi they caught in the creek downstream from Callide Dam during the recent flood. Photo Contributed Contributed

FISHERMEN who capitalised on the thousands of barramundi that escaped from Callide Dam during the flood, could be left with a sour taste in their mouths.

Many people were seen fishing for barramundi as they seized on the opportunity to flee the water impoundment and follow their natural urges downstream to the saltwater.

The only trouble is that when the fish are downstream of the dam, the regulations governing the barramundi closed season come into effect, which means many anglers were breaking the law and risked an on the spot fine of $440.

Some could even face the maximum penalty of $110,000.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said the closed season operated from November 1 to noon on February 1.

"During the closed season nobody is permitted to keep any barramundi," she said.

Several witnesses said they saw people using nets to capture the barramundi.

The spokeswoman said when fishing in freshwater, outside of lakes, a recreational scoop or dip net could be used, but a drag net was prohibited.

Anyone who witnesses illegal fishing is encouraged to report it to the 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800017 116.

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