TARGETED patrols undertaken by NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) fisheries officers in the State's south west over the June long weekend resulted in 122 offences being detected and 48 penalty notices being issued.
NSW DPI Director of Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said teams of fisheries officers worked in conjunction with NSW Police and Victorian fisheries officers to deter and detect illegal fishing activity and provide advice and information to fishers.
"Almost 900 fishers were checked by fisheries officers in South West NSW over the long weekend," Tritton said.
"About 86 per cent of those checked were found to be doing the right thing, however, that obviously still leaves a large number of people failing to fish responsibly.
"Fisheries officers issued 48 penalty notices ranging from $75 to $500 for a variety of alleged offences including failure to hold a fishing licence, fishing in closed waters, leaving lines unattended, possession of prohibited sized and mutilated fish, taking crayfish with ova and use of illegal fishing equipment.
"A range of illegal gear was seized including 41 yabby traps, 17 crab traps, 5 fish traps, 1 drum net, 38 hoop nets and 26 fishing lines. Thirty-two illegally taken Murray crayfish were also seized."
Waterways patrolled over the long weekend included the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Edward, Darling, Eucumbene and Thredbo Rivers. Tritton said that NSW fisheries officers will continue to target illegal fishing activity in these areas during the colder winter months.
A summary of the recreational fishing rules are available at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au and in the 2012 NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide. These free guides are available from NSW DPI offices, fishing licence agents and bait and tackle shops.