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Permitting Crab Traps into Lake Macquarie on a trial basis October 2021

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Recreational Fishing Rule Changes 2021 - FAQs

Permitting Crab Traps into Lake Macquarie on a trial basis October 2021

What are the changes?

  • Crab traps are permitted in Lake Macquarie in waters where recreational nets (hoop nets, witches hats) are permitted, on a trial basis for two years.
  • This includes implementation of a maximum trap entrance size of 32cm to mitigate the risk of turtle entanglement.

Why are we making these changes?

Previously Lake Macquarie was closed to any method involving the use of a trap, other than a bait trap. This longstanding crab trap closure from the 1970s is a legacy of commercial hauling activities to prevent haul nets becoming snagged on crab traps.

Given Lake Macquarie is now a Recreational Fishing Haven, it is proposed for recreational fishers to be permitted to use crab traps in the Lake to enhance fishing opportunities.

As part of a trial, there will be a requirement for the maximum entrance width of crab traps to not exceed 32cm. The entrances of wide mouth crab traps, such as collapsible rectangular traps, can be easily reduced using a cable tie, cord or similar. This will still enable crabs to enter the trap but will restrict entry of non-target species such as turtles.

Where in Lake Macquarie can I set crab gear?

Any part of Lake Macquarie or its tributaries other than certain areas that will remain closed to crab fishing including Whiteheads Lagoon, Upper Reaches/Mannering Bay, Muddy Lake and Lake Eraring, Lake Petite and Duck Hole Lagoon.

How many traps and nets can fishers now use?

·     This trial permits fishers to use (and be in possession of) a maximum of 2 crab traps, in addition to 4 hoop net or witches hat, which is consistent to that permitted in other waterways across NSW.

·  What are the crab trap requirements?

·     A float/ buoy to be labelled with CT, initial and surname, year of birth (YOB) and postcode of the person who sets, uses or lifts the fishing gear. The minimum height of the float being at least 50mm above the water with all letters to be a minimum of 15mm and in a colour contrasting to the buoy. There must also be a 50 gram weight attached to the float/buoy line so that no line is floating on the surface of the water.

·     The float/ buoy must measure not less than 100mm in all dimensions.

·     Any fish caught (other than crabs) must be returned to the water.

·     Do not set gear in areas of high boat traffic or navigation channels.

For more information on gear requirements, see here.



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