by Sarah Wright
NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is reminding anglers that fishing for Murray cod and Murray crayfish will close from September 1.
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NSW DPI Senior Fisheries Manager, Recreational and Indigenous Fishing, Cameron Westaway, said that fishing for Murray cod is closed every year from September 1 to November 30 to protect the species during breeding season.
'Murray cod are a prized catch of freshwater anglers and are found mainly in the Murray Darling river system,' Mr Westaway said.
'It is one of Australia’s largest freshwater fish growing up to 1.8m and weighing up to 50kg.
'Every year the three-month ban on fishing protects this native species during its breeding season, so that there will be more Murray cod for the fishery in the future.'
Mr Westaway said the Murray crayfish fishing season also closes on September 1 and would not reopen until May 1 next year.
'Murray crayfish provide the basis of a popular recreational fishery in many areas of the southern Murray-Darling Basin and are considered an iconic species within this system,' he said.
'The closure periods provide protection for these species over their dormant period.
'Fishers are also reminded that fishing for Murray crayfish is prohibitedat all times in notified trout waters and in Blowering Dam.'
NSW DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Glenn Tritton, said fishing laws are in place to protect, conserve and improve the State’s fisheries resources for present and future generations.
'Fisheries officers will be patrolling our inland waters to ensure that these restrictions are being adhered to and that fishing rules are being followed,' Mr Tritton said.
'Fishers found doing the wrong thing may be issued with a $500 penalty notice but can face a maximum penalty of $22,000 and/or six months in jail for a first offence, or a maximum $44,000 and/or 12 months jail for a second or subsequent offence.'
A summary of the freshwater fishing rules can be found at online, and in the 2011 NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide.
The free guides are available from NSW DPI offices, and fishing licence agents, as well as bait and tackle shops.
Department of Primary Industries NSW website