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Operation Liberty - DPI

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South West Operations
Fisheries Officers from the South West Zone executed 'Operation Liberty' over the recent Melbourne Cup Long Weekend. Fisheries Officers were on patrol across many inland systems including the Murray River from Euston to Bunroy, Lake Mulwala, the Swampy Plain River, Talbingo Dam, and the Darling River at Pooncarie.
The operation coincided with the Murray Cod closed season which includes the total fishing closure of the Trout Cod Protection Area (TCPA) on the Murray River between Yarrawonga and Tocumwal to protect the endangered Trout Cod during its breeding season
Generally compliance with fisheries regulations was quite good, however Fisheries Officers still detected a total of 51 offences over the weekend with a large number of these offences relating to the taking or attempting to take fish from closed waters. Twelve penalty notices each worth $500 were issued to fishers found to be taking/attempting to take fish in these closed areas.
Other offences detected include:
-A male in possession of a 38cm Murray Cod;
-A male in possession of a 41cm Murray Cod;
Both of the Murray Cod were seized by Fisheries Officers, however unfortunately only one could be returned to the water alive.
-Three people were also found in possession of a total of five Silver Perch which are a threatened species under the Fisheries Management Act 1994. All Silver Perch were seized by Fisheries Officers but unfortunately not all could be returned to the water alive.
On the spot fines of $500 apply to taking prohibited size fish.
On the spot fines of $500 apply to the taking or attempt to take Murray Cod during the closed season.
On the spot fines of up to $1000 apply the taking of Silver Perch.
Report illegal fishing to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report it online via DPI website at http://fal.cn/3gJWh 
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