With Christmas fast approaching, those planning on enjoying a spot of fishing over the holidays are urged to check the rules before dropping a line.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol District Manager Rob McDonald said officers will be out in force during the Christmas holidays and will be keeping a close eye on people’s fishing and boating practices.
'The Christmas break is traditionally a popular time for new and experienced fishers and boating enthusiasts to take to the State’s waterways and beaches,' Mr McDonald said.
'However, the increase in fishing and boating activities often sees an increase in infringements.
'We want people to enjoy their holidays but to take care and follow the relevant rules and regulations.
'Patrol officers will be out and about throughout the holiday period, educating the community about fishing and boating rules, but also enforcing regulations when needed.
'Knowing the rules is important for fishers, especially those who don’t fish regularly, as those caught not following the rules could face a hefty fine.
'Fishers should be familiar with the recreational fishing rules and regulations for Queensland, including size and possession limits, how to correctly measure fish, fishing gear restrictions and closed seasons.
'Officers will also be on the lookout for unsafe boating activities on waterways, correct vessel registration, and appropriate licensing of operators.'
Mr McDonald said fishers should also remember to purchase a Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) before fishing at any of the State’s 32 stocked impoundments.
'Stocked impoundments are a great, sustainable fishing option, as stocks of fish are replenished regularly,' he said.
'Throughout December, community stocking groups are replenishing fish stocks with the release of freshwater fingerlings.
'Species stocked include barramundi, golden perch, silver perch, Australian bass, Mary River cod, Murray River cod and saratoga.
'SIPs cost $7.70 for a weekly permit or $38.60 for a yearly permit and are available to purchase online or from small business outlets throughout Queensland.'
With more than 700,000 recreational fishers throwing a line in each year throughout the state, ensuring people follow the rules is necessary to ensure both the safe use of waterways and the sustainability of fisheries resources.
For more information on Queensland’s fishing rules or to purchase a SIP, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.