A locally spawned Mary River Cod
A locally spawned Mary River Cod Gerry Cook Cod Hatchery

NEW LAWS: Where and when you can catch this endangered fish

PLANNED new fresh water fishing laws would mean a year-round open season for the endangered Mary River cod in stocked impoundments, including Borumba Dam. .

MORE: Endangered species get a big boost at Borumba

But the species will continue to be substantially protected in other areas, including large parts of the Mary River system in both the Gympie and Fraser Coast regional council areas.

The proposals have been announced in a Sustainable Fisheries Strategy discussion paper, which is available for public access until Monday week.

Mary River Cod Hatchery manager Darren Knowles and Mary River Catchment Committee chair Ian Mackay feeding mary river cod at a breeding impoundment.
Mary River Cod Hatchery manager Darren Knowles and Mary River Catchment Committee chair Ian Mackay feeding mary river cod at a breeding impoundment. Alan Lander

A spokesman for Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said public feedback would then close on July 19.

This would allow a remake of existing laws, due to be completed by September 1.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner releases mary river Cod fingerlings into Borumba Dam.
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner releases mary river Cod fingerlings into Borumba Dam. Contributed

The paper raises the prospect of expanding the list of impoundments stocked with Mary River cod, to allow for year-round recreational taking of the species at a range of sites between Gympie and the Gold Coast.

These would include Wyarolong and Ewen Maddock dams, Caboolture River Weir, Robina Lakes, Lake Kurwongbah, Enoggera Resevoir and Lake Manchester.

But in many natural river environments, including the much of the Mary River, new closures would apply, including an annual closure to cover spawning season, from August 1 to October 31.

This would affect river systems from Gympie, Fraser Coast and Somerset council areas to the New South Wales border, including the Mary River upstream from Six Mile Creek, the Coomera River upstream from Guanaba Creek, the Stanley River upstream from the Somerset Dam full supply level, Christmas Creek and Running Creek in the Logan River catchment and the Albert River system up from Canungra Creek.

As a further protection measure, all forms of fishing would be banned in Tinana Creek and its tributaries upstream of Teddington Weir and in Obi Obi Creek from the Mary River to the Baroon Pocket Dam wall.

The discussion paper is available online at the departmentalwebsite, 'www.fisheries.qld.gov.au' and public submissions can be made on that site or by email to 'fisheriesmanagerrs@daf.qld.gov.au'.

Gympie Times


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