Joint DPI and NSW Police Rural Crime Unit operation catches two men fishing illegally near Warren

CAUGHT: The men were seen to take nine Golden Perch and one Murray Cod. Photo: FILE
CAUGHT: The men were seen to take nine Golden Perch and one Murray Cod. Photo: FILE

Two men have been apprehended for illegal fishing in the Macquarie River.

The men, a 49-year-old from Dubbo and a 58-year-old from Wongarbon, were apprehended on Saturday, along the Macquarie River, downstream from Warren following a covert surveillance operation.

Acting Director NSWDPI Fisheries Compliance, Dr Andrew Moriarty said the apprehension came after an ongoing investivation focussed on the use of setlines and illegal fish traps, with officers to allege they saw the men using a number of illegal fish traps from their campsite.

"The men were seen to take nine Golden Perch and one Murray Cod, and were apprehended by NSW Fisheries officers with the assistance of NSW Police Rural Crime Investigator officers," he said.

"Seven fish traps, nine Golden perch, one Murray cod, one grapnel (grappling hook as well as one of the offenders' boat, motor and trailer were all seized during the operation.

"The men are both facing proposed charges under the Fisheries Management Act 1994 for unlawfully using traps and possessing fish illegally taken.

"The man from Dubbo is also facing an extra charge of failing to prevent fisheries offences while master of the boat."

The maximum penalty for each offence is $22,000 and/or six month imprisonment.

The joint operation was carried out by NSW Department of Primary Industries' Fisheries officers and NSW Police Rural Crime Unit.

Dr Moriarty said disregard for fisheries rules and regulations had serious consequences.

"Fisheries rules and regulations are in place to protect and conserve fish stocks and fishing opportunities for current and future generations, and this type of illegal fishing detracts from all the hard work fisheries officers, and the community do to ensure access to healthy fish stocks for the community of NSW."

To report illegal fishing phone 1800 043 536, use the FishSmart NSW app or visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.