Wivenhoe-Somerset Fish Stocking Association life member Garry Fitzgerald is concerned about illegal fishing near the Mt Crosby/Allawah Road Weir.
Wivenhoe-Somerset Fish Stocking Association life member Garry Fitzgerald is concerned about illegal fishing near the Mt Crosby/Allawah Road Weir. Rob Williams

Anglers are fishing for trouble

CONCERNED fishermen believe illegal fishing is rife near the Mt Crosby Weir, with brazen anglers visiting the restricted zone despite warnings and the threat of fines.

The restricted zone runs from 200m upstream of the weir to 400m downstream, with a 50m ban down from the old weir.

The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol recognise the area as a "closed water area", making any form of fishing there illegal.

Four signs mark the zone.

However, Wivenhoe-Somerset Fish Stocking Association life member Garry Fitzgerald said people fished in the zone almost every day.

"I would guarantee that it's still happening, people are down there almost all the time," Mr Fitzgerald said.

Mr Fitzgerald, a keen angler himself, said people who fished in the area either didn't read the signs or chose to ignore them.

"As always, 99 per cent of people are doing the right thing, it's the one per cent who ruin it for the rest of us," Mr Fitzgerald said.

"Most dedicated fishos know the rules; it's casual fishermen who pick up a rod and go down there who must do it.

"The fish get stuck here when they're trying to move upstream, they're such an easy target that it's just unfair."

Online forums are also bubbling with reports of rule-breakers.

"I am a long standing member of Brisbane Valley Anglers ... we work very hard for funding fish stocking... and it is extremely disappointing to see this mass slaughter of the most popular freshwater sporting fish," one Ausfish forum member said.

A Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol spokesperson said 24 infringement notices and 12 cautions had been issued to people in the area this year.

Each notice carried a $400 fine.

Member for Ipswich West Wayne Wendt said he had received a number of complaints from residents earlier this year.

"I'm adamant that it shouldn't happen - fishing is a sport, and it's not a sport when you're fishing in a hole full of fish," Mr Wendt said.

Mr Wendt said anyone who witnesses suspicious fishing activities could call his office, or the Fishwatch hotline 1800 017 116.



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