The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is reminding fishers that the last day for fishing this season for Murray Cod and Murray Crayfish was on August 31.
DPI Acting Senior Fisheries Manager Inland, Craig Watson, said that Murray Cod and Murray Crayfish are iconic species native to the Murray Darling Basin.
“The Murray Cod fishery is subject to closed periods every year to protect this native species during its breeding season and the Murray Crayfish fishery is closed each year to protect it during its dormant period,” Mr Watson said.
“Both species are a prized catch of recreational fishers and these closures help to protect and conserve the fishery for the future.
“Murray Cod is one of Australia’s largest freshwater fish growing up to 1.8 metres and weighing over 100 kilograms,” he said.
“It is illegal to fish for Murray Cod in NSW until December 1.”
Mr Watson said fishers are also reminded that Trout Cod, a close relative of the Murray Cod and found in parts of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers, and also the Eastern Cod, found in the upper Clarence River in north eastern NSW, are totally protected all year round.
“Trout Cod can be differentiated from Murray Cod by their overhanging upper jaw, convex forehead and spotted markings,” Mr Watson said.
“The Trout Cod Protection Area on the Murray River between Yarrawonga Weir and Tocumwal Road bridge is also closed to all forms of fishing during the Murray Cod closed season from September to November inclusive.”
DPI Acting Director Fisheries Compliance, Tony Andrews said the Murray Crayfish season will remain closed until 1 June 2015.
“Murray Crayfish are the largest spiny freshwater crayfish in NSW and the second largest freshwater crayfish in the world,” Mr Andrews said.
“Due to a decline in the species, Murray Crayfish can now only be caught during three months each year and can only be legally taken within two areas of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.
“The species was listed as a vulnerable species by the State’s Independent Fisheries Scientific Committee in 2013 and new fishing arrangements were put in place to help protect and rebuild stocks of Murray Crayfish.
“It is important that fishers continue to follow the rules and regulations including the ban on taking berried females and the new bag, size and possession limits and fishing season, in order to ensure the sustainability of our iconic Murray Crayfish.
“Anyone who is unsure of the rules and regulations should contact their local Fisheries Office before they go fishing.”
A summary of the freshwater fishing rules can be found at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au and in the 2014 NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide.
The free guides are available from DPI offices, and fishing licence agents, as well as bait and tackle shops.