South western NSW fishers are excitedly gearing up for the traditional June 1 opening of the Murray Crayfish season.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Program Leader Stocking and Fisheries Enhancement Operations, Jim Harnwell said the popular freshwater crustacean is mainly found in the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers and their tributaries.
“Murray Crayfish may only be taken during the months of June, July and August in the Murray River between Hume Weir and the Tocumwal road bridge including Lake Mulwala and in the Murrumbidgee River between the Gundagai Road bridge and Berembed Weir, excluding Old Man Creek,” Mr Harnwell said.
“Environmental factors have led to widespread declines in populations of the Murray Crayfish and a number of rules are in place to protect the species and assist with its recovery.
“It’s a highly anticipated time when the Murray Crayfish season opens for the winter months and we want to ensure fishers can enjoy the season while abiding by the rules to make sure we can sustain this species for future generations.”
Recreational fishers can use up to five hoop / open pyramid lift nets per person to take Murray Crayfish where permitted. The letters “HN” or “PN” and user’s name, year of birth and postcode must be written on each net’s float.
DPI Director of Fisheries Compliance, Dr Andrew Moriarty said fisheries officers will be patrolling our waterways to ensure the rules are being followed.
“The daily bag limit for Murray Crayfish is 2 and the possession limit is 4,” Dr Moriarty said.
“The minimum size limit for Murray Crayfish, measured from the rear of the eye socket to the centre rear of the carapace is 10cm and the maximum size limit is 12cm.
“Recreational fishers must also not take berried females or removing heads, tails or claws in, on, or adjacent to waters is prohibited.”
Detailed information on the fishing rules and Murray Crayfish can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries.
Check out the FishSmart app providing recreational fishers 24/7 smartphone access to essential information they need to know to fish in NSW. You can find it in the App Store or on Google Play. Any suspected illegal fishing activity can be reported through the FishSmart app or to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536.