Know your fish to avoid a brush with the law

Know your fish to avoid a brush with the law

Part 3: Belin­da Cay’s sur­vival guide for tak­ing the fam­i­ly to the Mur­ray for a day of fishing.

In Part 2 the fam­i­ly was bait­ing hooks and get­ting into the real thing. Today’s blog post con­tains some of the need to know’ essentials.

Pur­ple spots or brown spots? Yel­low fins or blue fins? Big or small?

While fish­ing is a fun recre­ation­al activ­i­ty, there is a seri­ous side. In fact, it pays to know your fish and the law.

Fresh­wa­ter species such as pur­ple-spot­ted gud­geon, the chan­da and pygmy perch, riv­er black­fish, Mur­ray cod, sil­ver perch and fresh­wa­ter cray­fish – to name a few – are the delight­ful, pro­tect­ed locals cruis­ing the Murray’s waters. And just a heads-up, if you take or cause harm to any of these pro­tect­ed species, you could face heavy fines.

There are a num­ber of sim­ple things you can do to min­imise the risk of harm to pro­tect­ed species when fishing:

  • Know your fish. Have a look this com­pre­hen­sive web­site with pic­tures to help iden­ti­fy pro­tect­ed species.
  • Choose safer hooks. Cer­tain hooks (such as shank hooks) increase the fre­quen­cy that a fish will be mouth-hooked rather than gut-hooked. There are also some tips and tricks you can follow.
  • Han­dle fish quick­ly and try and keep them in water. Fish are not designed for land so if you have caught a pro­tect­ed species, hold it with a wet tow­el or cra­dle care­ful­ly in a net and effi­cient­ly remove the hook. Nee­dle-nosed pli­ers can help. Try to do this in the water if possible. 

On the oth­er hand, intro­duced species like the Euro­pean carp must not be put back. As a nox­ious pest that’s out­com­pet­ing the locals, they must not be returned to the water.

For oth­er fish, remem­ber that size and amount mat­ters. There are strict size and bag lim­its when catch­ing fish and the rules must be fol­lowed so we can con­tin­ue to enjoy fish­ing on the riv­er in the future.

Inter­est­ing­ly, a lit­tle unknown fact is carp can be quite deli­cious. If you have a recipe let us know.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living