Recreational fishers will again be able to target Murray cod, when the season opens on Friday, 1 December 2017, following the annual three month breeding closure.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Inland Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway said the native species, which is found in the Murray-Darling River system, is a prized catch as it’s the country’s largest freshwater fish.
“Every year a three month ban on taking, or attempting to take, Murray Cod in all inland waters other than Copeton Dam is put in place to protect this very important species during its breeding season,” Mr Westaway said.
“Since the closure was first introduced more than a decade ago there have been numerous reports of significant increases in Murray cod numbers.
“Murray cod numbers have been boosted through government stocking programs including the dollar for dollar native fish stocking program. Over 920,000 were released last year and similar numbers of Murray cod are planned for release this season.”
The annual Murray cod season opens on Friday, 1 December, and fisheries officers will continue to monitor inland waterways, particularly during the holiday season, to ensure fishers follow all recreational fishing rules.
DPI’s Director of Fisheries Compliance, Patrick Tully said fishers will need to adhere to Murray cod possession limits, size limits and catch and release best practice.
“A daily bag limit of two Murray Cod per person per day and a total possession limit of four will apply when fishing in any inland waters,” Mr Tully said.
“Fishers are required to release Murray Cod which are smaller than 55cm, or bigger than 75cm, with the least possible harm.”
Other rules relating to the Murray cod include:
- Set lines cannot be used in any inland waters and are totally prohibited.
- Two attended lines may be used in all inland waters except some trout and closed waters, but these lines must be within 50 metres and in your line of sight.
- Live finfish including carp, birds and mammals cannot be used as bait.
More information can be found in the NSW Recreational Fishing Freshwater Fishing Guide, which is available from DPI offices and most places where NSW recreational fishing licences are sold.
Anyone with information on suspected illegal fishing activity is urged to contact their local Fisheries office, call the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report illegal fishing activities online.