EPA fishing inspectors snag illegal nets in the region’s waterways

Released 18/01/2018

Canberran’s are being reminded that fish traps and enclosed nets are illegal in the ACT’s lakes and waterways as Environment Protection Authority (EPA) officers continue to find and remove illegal fishing equipment from the ACT’s waterways, including a disturbingly large fish trap recently recovered from Lake Burley Griffin.

The Environment Protection Authority, Narelle Sargent, said fishing traps are known to cause harm to protected species of fish and have also been responsible for the deaths of platypus, turtles and aquatic mammals.

“Canberrans are reminded that under ACT law, fish traps, enclosed nets (including the popular ‘opera house’ style) and set lines are not permitted in the ACT’s lakes and rivers,” Mrs Sargent said.

“Penalties of up to $5000 apply to people found using such traps and nets. It is important that we all work together to support the health of our waterways and that includes appropriate fishing activities.”

The find occurred during a regular waterway inspection by EPA officers. The officers are proactive in checking the Territory’s lakes and rivers including:

  • monitoring algae and turbidity levels
  • retrieving samples of any suspicious or potentially hazardous liquids for further analysis
  • searching for persons or equipment in breach of ACT fishing regulations.

EPA officers are responsible for maintaining and enhancing a variety of the ACT’s environments as well as responding to information received from the public or other areas of government concerning potential breaches of Canberra’s environmental legislation.

If the community would like to report any issues or concerns to the EPA they can call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

Illegal fishing activity will remain a key focus for the EPA throughout 2018. For information on ACT fishing rules visit www.act.gov.au/actfishing.

- Statement ends -

Section: Access Canberra | Media Releases

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