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2013 NEW REGULATIONS FOR MURRAY CRAYFISH

12 Apr 2013 1:51 PM - These rules are in affect NOW

CHANGES TO MURRAY CRAYFISH REGULATIONS - 2013

 

Executive Director Fisheries NSW, Dr Geoff Allan, said that environmental factors such as habitat degradation and modification and Blackwater events after flooding have taken a toll on the iconic species.

 

“The NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee has proposed to list Murray crayfish as a vulnerable species in NSW following widespread declines in abundance, particularly in the lower reaches of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers,” Dr Allan said.

 

“’Although recreational fishing does not appear to be a primary cause of decline, it is important that we manage recreational fishing pressure to assist species recovery on a proactive basis.

 

”A combination of new measures including additional closed areas, shortening the season by one month and changes to bag size limits are being introduced this year to protect this important species”

 

THE NEW REGULATORY ARRANGEMENTS INCLUDE:

 

·        Prohibiting the take of Murray Crayfish in all NSW waters except in the Murrumbidgee River between the Hume Highway road bridge at Gundagai and Berembed Weir, near Ganmain, and in the Murray River Between 130 meters downstream of the Hume Weir, near Albury and the Newell Highway road bridge at Tocumwal.

·        Changing the opening of the fishing season from 1 may to 1 June to protect pre-spawning females.

·        Increasing the minimum size limit (from the rear of the eye socket to the centre rear of the carapace) from Murray Crayfish from 9cm to 10cm and introducing a maximum size limit of 12cm, to ensure all females reach sexual maturity and that very large Crayfish can continue within the population.

·        Reducing the daily bag limit for Murray Crayfish from 5 to 2 and possession limit from 10 to 4.

 

Dr Allan said the new Murray Crayfish fishing rules are effective immediately meaning it will be an offence to take Murray Crayfish in the month of May.

 

“”All other existing rules will continue including a prohibition on taking berried females or removing heads, tails or claws in, on or adjacent to, waters,’’ Dr Allan said

 

“’Fishers must ensure they get to know the new rules before heading out fishing this Murray crayfish season as fisheries officers will be out in force to ensure the new regulatory arrangements are being followed.’”

Up to five hoop nets per person may be used to take Murray Crayfish where permitted with the letters “HN” and user’s name and address on the float.

 

Where it is legal to use hoop nets, they may continue to be used to take yabbies in waters closed to the taking of Murray Crayfish. However, if any Murray Crayfish are accidentally caught they must be immediately returned to the water unharmed.

 

For More information on Murray Crayfish visit: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational

 

Information; media contact Alyssa Fitzgerald