View Full Version : Boating & fisheries patrol, visible presence

06-12-2007, 09:52 AM
Ther has been some discussion of late about changes to our fishing regulations and enviromental zoning in South East Queensalnd.
Over the next little while I'll be putting up a few polls that will hopefully give anybody that is interested a reel impression about the views and experiences of responsible anglers (thats us).
I hope you will all contribute.

My view is that regardless of any change in regulation there is little or no visible presence of the boating & fisheries patrol..... so much so that they represent little or no deterent to those who blatantly flout the regulations.

I believe that significant increases resourcing of the boating & fisheries patroll would do more for fish conservation than many of the other proposed measures.

this poll will concentrate on if and how often have seen, heard of or had contact with a patroll officer.
Now seriously living next door to, being in a relationship with one or working near one of the offices dont count.

I'm interested in contact with an officer in the course of his/ her duities.

to clarify the options
Never seen..... I have never seen an actual patroll officer on duty

Seen last 5 years......have seen at least 1 in the last 5 years

Seen last 12 months......actual officers seen in the last year

Contact last 5 years.....have had direct contact that I did not initiate in the last 5 years.... I was spoken to or inspected by an officer.

Contact last 12 months...... as above but last 12 months

Known zipped...... have seen or directly spoken to someone that was fined, cautioned or presecuted by an officer last 5 years

Been zipped....have been personlay fined, prosecuted or cautioned in the last 5 years

I am one.......then you are an endangered spicies..... I hope you are in a relationship because the breeding stock is low.


06-12-2007, 10:01 AM
Oldboot I have been zipped I had a warning for letting my 12 year old son drive the boat from the ramp to the pontoon maybe 30 meters while I parked the car . I have been checked only once in 7 years by the fishos and once by the GBRMPA in their boat not a real deterent is it .2 checks in maybe 300 trips

06-12-2007, 10:24 AM
I have been checked out 4 times in last 18 months by water police at mud and green, and why? because it was a weekday and not a weekend, i asked why such a big presence midweek when it was so quite and i was told it was because the govt wont pay the overtime and penalty rates for weekends so midweek it is.

06-12-2007, 11:09 AM
We got checked by Fisheries at the Fraser comp and recieved a http://www.ausfish.com.au/vforum/images/icons/icon14.gif
I've been a passenger when the skipper was warned by Parks about getting too close to a 'go slow' zone.

The duties of the 3 enforcement agencies operating in Moreton Bay sometimes overlap and sometimes don't.

Boating & Fisheries Patrol - enforce Fisheries and MSQ regs, but not police matters.

Water Police - enforce police matters, MSQ regs and some(very few) officers can enforce Fisheries regs.

QPWS/EPA - enforce Marine Park regs, but not Fisheries, MSQ regs or police matters.

That's as I understand the current situation, and comments about weekends, after business hours, penalty rates & overtime are similar to what I've heard.


06-12-2007, 11:17 AM

I have never been checked by fisheries patrol. I was breathalysed by the on water police just near the "Grand" boatramp at Labrador. I have a suspicion they were more interested in my little Swiss "daughter" than me.

I have seen the Fisheries guys on water but never checking anyone.
I saw the NSW Fisheries guys in a ute check a boat for its catch at a boatramp on the Hawkesbury and give the two guys a fish measuring sticker. for their trouble.

Ray De R

06-12-2007, 11:46 AM
Got checked out last friday at Toorbul boat ramp before we even hit the water.Wanted to know what fish we were chasing,where we going,check for rego,licence,checked for names on crab pots,life jackets and capcity stickers.Cops were also on the water,they left us alone,me mate reckons thats proberly cause t
they didn't get a good look at us.He's pretty ugly and i'm not much better.
cheers Mick

boys play
06-12-2007, 12:12 PM
I am in NSW, the introduction of licencing (fishing) some years ago was a sore point amongst almost all who you would speak to on the subject, however the general consensus seemed to be that if it meant an increase in inspectors and a reduction in undersize fish being taken, then so be it.
I have never seen an inspector from fisheries in the last 10 years, and consistently see undersize fish being cleaned at the ramp...where are the fees going that we still pay?

06-12-2007, 01:56 PM
I've been a passenger when the skipper was warned by Parks about getting too close to a 'go slow' zone.

Steve, that is a good one. Now it is an offence to go fast 'close' to go-slow zones. FFS, you are either in the zone or outside, I didn't know there was a buffer zone.


06-12-2007, 01:59 PM
I really don't know whethher this sort of this will help out cause at all. While I agree in principle with what you say, it could be argued that part of the reason for all the new zones and regs in so the EPA can ask for more funding for more officers to enforce the regs. This would only help them achieve that.


06-12-2007, 02:02 PM
There like vermin their bloody everywhere been checked by fisheries in excess of 100 times in recent years in nsw and qld, one of the last times by some noosa guys that emptied all my fish on the floor of the boat and in the sun for two hours then had the hide to say they were not cold enough, which caused the quality to severly degrade making me lose big money i have nothing good to say about them they are maggots.

06-12-2007, 02:25 PM
I've only been stoped once and that was a weekday about 3 months ago. I'm out on the water nearly once a week and thats the one and only time I've seen them.
Cheers TT

Scott nthQld
06-12-2007, 02:29 PM
In Townsville, I've only ever seen them 3 times in 6 years, but inspected twice. First time I got pinched for no lifejackets (forgot to put them in on a last minute trip, not that they'd help much in croc country, just make you an esier target i reckon)), last time, about 4months ago, was inspected, and given the thumbs up. Both times was in the same spot.

On bloke was inspected at the ramp a couple of years ago at the end of barra season, it was the 1st Nov and was about 12.05pm (season officailly closes 1st Nov @ 12pm), the bloke had just taken his boat out of the water and was tying down, putting lights on for the drive home, when the fisheries inspected and fined him for being in possesion of 2 barra in the off season. Well he was livid, he said he'd just caught them 1/2 an hour ago, while the season was still open, but they still slapped him with a fine, don't know how much, but the way he was carrying on, it was quite a substantial amount. He sadi he was going to protest and take it to court, but I don't know what happened after he left, he might've got off. And so he should, he wasa out of the water, making sure it was safe to drive home with his day's catch that were caught and killed before the season ended, just because he still had them in his esky before he got home, he waa singled out and given a fine. Needless to say, with 1 barra in the esky, my dad and I were out of there in a hurry before they could inspect us.

06-12-2007, 03:35 PM
I'm in Townsville too and I have been pulled over at least 6 times this year. 2 on the boat ramp at National, 1 on the Haughton, and at least 3-4 times at Cape Cleveland and once at West Point.

Easter Sunday I was checked by all 3, the police, Fisheries and the GBRMPA boat.

One day at West Point, GRMPA came over and took pikkies of every one then took off without pulling anyone over. Doubt that the 2 crewies in bikinis were full fledged members of GRMPA though.

I was also pulled over by police due to a yank Destroyer leaving the harbour and told to wait until it had gone past.

The wife and I am getting a complex about being pulled over. We must be a devious looking pair.

But I would vote for more presence as the number of boats that are overloaded and/or full of kids with no jackets is getting beyound a joke. Also they have all been extremely polite and friendly.

06-12-2007, 04:12 PM
it was the 1st Nov and was about 12.05pm (season officailly closes 1st Nov @ 12pm), the bloke had just taken his boat out of the water and was tying down, putting lights on for the drive home, when the fisheries inspected and fined him for being in possesion of 2 barra in the off season. .

I dont know but I suppose the rules are that you are not to be in possession of barra during the closed season regardless of when they are caught so technically fisheries may have been correct.
I would also be spewing in this case though .Sounds like a hard lesson to learn,doesnt it .

As for fisheries officer's up this way...fisheries ..what fisheries?


06-12-2007, 04:36 PM
Steve, that is a good one. Now it is an offence to go fast 'close' to go-slow zones. FFS, you are either in the zone or outside, I didn't know there was a buffer zone.


G'day Jeremy,

This happened at the western end of the Rous Ch/Maroom Bank area which is to be greened. The were unsure whether we had crossed the boundary, but they considered we were close enough and provided a warning. I don't know how they came to this assumption as their aspect would have made it very difficult to determine the boundary. It was a small CC Orca type boat without radar and overlays.


06-12-2007, 07:08 PM
I know this for a fact:

The State Govt and fisheries use "the threat" of enforcement as the major tool in fisheries enforcement.

Simple as that - from the horses mouth.


06-12-2007, 10:31 PM
Never had my boat checked in 20 years. Have only been checked in others boats twice in the same time. One in the Bribie Passage and one in NSW. Not what I would call enforcment. Have seen plenty of undersize fish in boats at the ramp that I would like to have seen busted. I am all for more Fisheries enforcment. Nothing to hide, nothing to worry about!


06-12-2007, 11:11 PM
Seems to me that there is a trend to nominate very heavy "threat penalties" and employ very few inspectors.... this is right across the board... building, electrical and so on.

there are plenty out there who are more than happy to take their chances and are quick and bold enoiugh to get away with it.

they know their chances of getting caught in particular places and at particular times is next to nothing.


06-12-2007, 11:14 PM
Have seen them 3 times in 20 odd years of boating 2 of them this year, both times at night midweek and both times I was told that my life jackets were dirty,(reflector are clean)when I said they would be better off to walk out to the end of the shornecliff pier on one occasion ,they had to go else where,the first time I was a young fella and I reckon they just wanted to perve on the shelia I was with at the time.They didnt check my esky .
Personally I thought what stupid times to be out doing spot checks,11.30 at night(Baxters jetty ramp) and right on dusk in the south pine,midweek,a team of them should walk out to the end of the shornecliff pier during uni holidays and it would net them some serious fines.Well thats my 2 cents worth.

Fish Guts
07-12-2007, 06:54 AM
have been checked maybe twice in the last 10 years. recently last one was about 3 months ago. very good to deal with and nice guys in my experiences.


fish guts

07-12-2007, 07:06 AM
guday all,
was checked out by the fisho's at easter, giv'n a warning for a torn life jacket. Went through all my gear replaced what needed replacing. You would'nt guess it, out on the bay 2 weeks later(Hervey Bay), fined $150 by the water police cause i forgot to take my flares:-[ , sad part is 0.3 of a nm closer to land i wouldnt have needed them

cheers Paul

07-12-2007, 08:14 AM
Seen em only once on the Tweed,We hailed them to stop to tell them about the dozen or so oriental folk under the bridge collecting 12cm bream,nice guys but were'nt that interested,so we educated them ourselves

07-12-2007, 08:34 AM
been on the water for 25 years..no contact with fisho's for last 5 years, but checked 2 in a month in October this year!!....my son didn't have his lifejacket on while under way..but is not required by law as boat is greater than 4.8mtrs..
fisho's thied to argue the point and when i said show me the evidence!...he dived into his bag of tricks and could not find anything..told me that he left it on his desk in the office, BUT INSISTED i was still wrong....i just shook my head and drove off...d**kheads!
Where are they when the prawns are on and the gooks are filling up esky after esky with oversize nets?
where are they around xmas time when the gooks run out 50 pots targeting mud crabs and keep everything...
Maybe the government needs to pay these guys for weekend work and give them 2 days during the week off as their "weekend"

07-12-2007, 08:34 AM
so we educated them ourselves


And what university did you send them too?


07-12-2007, 08:55 AM
Pulled up twice in 20 years and we're on the water all the time.

If the department is concerned about budgets, forget about putting the inspectors in boats ($$) and let them inspect catches as boats are retrieved at the ramps.

Flattie Assassin
07-12-2007, 09:21 AM
Pulled up twice in 20 years and we're on the water all the time.

If the department is concerned about budgets, forget about putting the inspectors in boats ($$) and let them inspect catches as boats are retrieved at the ramps.

spot on Leanne. I have never seen them ever. It's a joke.

07-12-2007, 01:38 PM
Do you need to go to uni to learn the minimum legal size for bream?

08-12-2007, 08:13 AM
What Dave meant too say i think is did you send them too The University of Smack In The Mouth. Or The University Of Verbal Abuse?

08-12-2007, 08:55 AM

Spot on Crestcutter


08-12-2007, 06:52 PM
Never met one before in my life. I rarely go boating, but lets be honest, not all people who are taking undersize fish are in boats. From the sounds of it the sand pumping jetty is a case in point. The lack of policing is just ridiculous.

09-12-2007, 02:34 PM

It would be interesting to know when the Fisheries last blitzed the Sand Pumping Jetty and with what result.

Ray De R

09-12-2007, 11:58 PM
On my boat - never ever been checked or spoken to..., in fact the police, MSQ and Fisheries drive past me and generly wave.

On my PWC - I get constantly harrassed for nonsense by Police and particuarly the MSQ jetski team. For instance - accused and given a ticket for rego numbers being 99mm not 100mm - I got home and checked - discovered they were actualy 103mm when measuring with a dressmakers tape - due to the highly curved surface - when you measure with a straight ruler they apear 99mm - sent a dirty letter with photo's they dropped the ticket.

Same cops booked me for doing 7 knots in a 6 knot zone - on the basis that no water was coming over the bow - showed them I have trim on my pwc and a GPS and that I know I was not doing over 6 knots - got the ticket. Sent dirty letter saying I was looking forward ot going to court and challenging their "proof of my speeding being based on water not coming over my bow" when I have trim on my pwc and a passenger and they dropped the ticket.

MSQ see me or pople I know sitting on the beach on the broadwater(with pwc's anchored) - they approach us and want to check rego's and look for things to be wrong - I am over it - They should be focusing on people on pwc's that are speeding/doing 360's and breaking the law - not hunting out people looking for registration problems - 99mm rego stickers versus 100mm rego stickers do not cause accidents or people to be hurt.

Every time they have a chat - they ask for our names and write them in their log and have even told me it is to justify their time on the water - regardless if we are doing something wrong - this is the wrong process - it does not motivate them to focus on the correct activities - instead just justify their time on nonsense activities.

End result - we are paying for MSQ representitives through our taxes to be out on jetski's wasting time whilst there are idiots out there getting away with murder.

That's my 2 cents...


10-12-2007, 10:01 AM
Now frank we have had our disagreement in the past but, I must support you in this situation.

If this is the sort of behaviour we are getting on the water..... it should not be tolerated........the coppers were read the riot act over this sort of stuff on land ages ago.

rego checks, fair enough.....random breath test.... bring it on....... on any vehicle wet or dry but if they are targeting & nit picking this needs to be stopped.

You will note that it is almost unknown for coppers on land to issue a speeding ticket without the use of a " calibrated measuring device" visual observation and reference to the vehicle spedo has been thrown out a number of times.

So wat "calibrated measuring device" were they using to establish 7 knots......if you were on the plane or creating wash........ that could have been a fair cop if it was observed but unless they had a speed gun how do they hope to issue any speeding ticket that would hold up..........even as harrasment goes that is incompetent.

99mm instead of 100.... again even if it was actulay measure at that, thats a 1% error........there has to be some allowance for reasonable accuracy...... lots of materials expand and contract that much with heat.

these blokes should be sent back to school..... thats just plain sloppy.

If I was looking to keep my figures up, I don't think I would need to fiddle with that sort of BS, genuine non compliance isn't too hard to find.

Apart from the fact that in the modern view of regulation, a compliant inspection is as good as a ticket........

Log entry...... inspected pwc and questioned driver, vehicle, safety equipment and conduct all in order........ big tick......... proff of effective policing.

cheers frank

10-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Oh BTW....... was there a calibration sticker on the coppers ruler.;D ;D


the gecko
10-12-2007, 01:03 PM
Ive seen water police, VMR and Coastguard around the seaway a lot, but never dept of fisheries. What does there logo look like on the boat side? Is it the 2 orange stripes diagonal? Or is that dept of Harbours and Marines? Anyone got a pic of their boat/symbols?

When I did legal studies, we were taught that a law that is not enforced, is not a law at all.


10-12-2007, 05:40 PM
ahh,sorry Dave. I'm a dill:-X Was'nt sure if you were havin a chop or what.
Nice pick up Crestcutter.Oh yeah, it was the university of verbal abuse of which my deckie is a professor.

11-12-2007, 03:51 PM
Hi all. :policeman:

In TAS General Duties police do water checks when they can. With 2 Constables and a Sergeant making up most of the shifts it can be a long time between checks. Even checks at ramps only get done between the domestics, drunks and other duties.

This is the second busiest station in the state I am talking about and there are not enough people to do regular checks (got to be unlucky to get caught down here).

There are Marine Police, but they are stationed at points where professional fisho's work out of.

Cheers Andy.

Oh Gee
16-12-2007, 08:48 PM
I ran into a bloke today at Spinika Sound. Said he was from boatin and fisheries and was doing a catch survey. Wish i had a Fish to show him.

17-12-2007, 12:22 PM
ahh,sorry Dave. I'm a dill:-X Was'nt sure if you were havin a chop or what.
Nice pick up Crestcutter.Oh yeah, it was the university of verbal abuse of which my deckie is a professor.

did they pass after the education session?
or did they just nod their head with no idea look on their face?

Back to the question i saw one on the highway once:D


17-12-2007, 04:03 PM
On the weekend just gone out over on Amity banks I had the Environmental Protection Agency Officers (EPA) coming over check out my catch nice catch of winter whiting and seen my boat license and flares and rego papers and the kids had there life jackets on not even 10 minutes with me I seen them spend a lot more time with the other boats their in the area
I reckon if you doing the right thing have nothing to worry about and I always say to them good to see out on the water and enforcing the laws and have nice day:) they are like everybody else has a job to do with the resources they got
At least didnít slam into me and damage my boat like the Water police did last time>:( 2 Xmas ago behind Mud Island to do a check on me ( The big PJ Kidd boat)

20-12-2007, 10:48 PM
my unckle got done for a sandy that he messured with 1 off those crab measurers , then fisheries put some didital callipers on it and fined him 350 bucks because it was .5mm under , i thought that was a bit harsh .

22-12-2007, 09:51 AM
Itís really annoying to be pulled up for random licence tests, what point does it serve? The NSW highway police gave up on this decades ago it just doesnít work! Waterways need to be out there booking people obviously speeding or drinking and leave the rest of us alone.

Fish Guts
22-12-2007, 05:07 PM
fisheries have gotta be allowed to enforce drink driving. only 93 people caught last year in Qld for DUI on water. too many drunks getting away with it. its a joke.

22-12-2007, 06:56 PM
Hows it going guys
been inspected twice this year once by fisheries when i was tied of to Neils (HORSE) boat trying to get the motor started the decided to smash ito his boat while we were trying to cross load batteries and by the water police at the Manly ramp the other day. The water police were a good bunch of blokes who had a bit of chat before moving to another ramp

22-12-2007, 07:13 PM
Oh BTW....... was there a calibration sticker on the coppers ruler.;D ;D


They would also need the PWC to be measured as level (side to side) then take a mark at 90* to the vertical plane of the top rego stickers. Then they'd have to repeat the level reading process for the bottom of the rego stickers to alleviate the possibility of parallax errors in measurement.

Would be interesting in court.

22-12-2007, 07:41 PM
saw the fisheries in Whalleys Gutter today..writing an infringement notice for a couple of blokes in a tinny.

25-12-2007, 09:35 AM
i have been checked twice in three years

once while going through the rous channel from the e.p.a. and once near peel by the water police.

recieved 'stern warning' while near rous, still not sure why. i was not in go-slow area, that didn't matter to them, i was of the understanding i could be where i was, they told me i wasn't where i was. all that money on a you beaut g.p.s. and no one wanted to see it. they took my details and sped off straight across the banks.

both of these times i did not have my catch checked.

i am thirty now, and still have memories of fishing with my father in moreton bay.
every second weekend we would greet the harbours and marine mob at the ramp for a check of the catch.

that was over twenty years ago, maybe some practices back then were worthwhile. no one seems to care much anymore.

i thought we were supposed to be smarter than back then. sad really


13-01-2008, 09:47 AM
HI Fellows
pulled up several times here in Hervey Bay,the younger fisheries guys are a bit toey, when you here some stories of old people being book its out of line to me
Isuppose they can say their only doing their job.

13-01-2008, 10:17 PM
Take into account that the number of Fisheries Inspectors for Brisbane and surrounding area has not changed since the early 80's.

Take into account that its not uncommon for budget contraints to stop patrol activity over weekends.

Take into account that the turnover of inspectors has increased markedly and that the patrol is losing those with good local knowledge and enforcement skills. This is mainly due to other agencies poaching inspectors due to better pay and working conditions.

Take into account a huge increase in boating activity in Queensland waters and that overall inspector numbers has remained unchanged in the last 10 years.

Take into account the increase in "accountability" leading to "red tape" and "paperwork" and so more time spent in the office.

Take into account the change in the nature of work performed from just enforcing fisheries to enforcing marine safety, GBRMPA zoning and Marine Park zoning and the associated "tick the box" paperwork. This leads to less contacts overall.

Thats why its likely you will see less of them.

15-01-2008, 10:38 PM
hmm, spent a week on a house boat last week.
Mid week just north of slipping sands (south end or North Straddie) we pulled up mid morning to moor and do a bit of wake boarding. The buggers come up and moor just in our perfect run but you get that then they sat there watching TV all bloody day.
The kids inspected the boat well with the binoculars (75m away) they referred to the "lady midget" the tall blond chick and the guy/girl with a mow. Kept the kids amused for hours and the fisheries guys pulling the curtains (but they didn't have enough).
Maybe they have a relaxation outing for the execs who knows but they spent the day/night moored and watching telly.
In the morning they were still moored but the inflatible was gone. Maybe they went off to get milk.

16-01-2008, 09:53 PM
We ran into the fisheries patrol at Donnybrook (just near Bribie Island) They pulled us up on the water and asked a few brief questions, checked our boat rego and life jackets etc. Another patrol pulled up next to them, but they were polite and didn't muck us around too much.
The next day a different patrol pulled up at our camp and asked to see what mud crabs we had in our esky, Again they were very polite but I was kinda over it by that stage.
I've never seen them out on moreton bay.

19-01-2008, 12:17 PM

Watched the fisheries guys checking boats at the boat ramp at Carlo Point Rainbow Beach at Xmas time and they caught two boats without enough life jackets.

One of the young fellows was mouthing off and the boat driver got a ticket. The other boat got off with a warning for the same thing.
It pays to be humble on occasions


22-01-2008, 01:46 PM
got pulled up by the water police on Sunday at Mud.
nice blokes - we had all the correct gear on board so no worries.

yeah I agree with Ken above - pays to be polite and humble to an extent. your mouthing off could be the difference between a good and bad day for them, which means you could be in for a bad day in return if you have anything slightly amiss on your boat in realation to correct gear etc.

22-01-2008, 05:49 PM
I can't believe that there are still, mentaly defficients out there who think they can be anything but polite to police and get away with it::)


22-01-2008, 08:01 PM
Hows it going guys
been inspected twice this year once by fisheries when i was tied of to Neils (HORSE) boat trying to get the motor started the decided to smash ito his boat while we were trying to cross load batteries and by the water police at the Manly ramp the other day. The water police were a good bunch of blokes who had a bit of chat before moving to another ramp

I remember that case very well. Middle of the shipping channel, two boats without batteries (we had transferred ours to Russ)and they F%#% (F@#%) us around for 10 mins and then P*%$ (P@%$) off. They certainly smashed into us very hard while rafted up and then left us drifting. No seamanship and IMHO the fools should be off the water

Last weekend we had a visit from two female fisheries officers. They were friendly and exhibited perfect boating etiquette. I certainly had no problem with them coming overand support their work whole heartedly.


22-01-2008, 08:55 PM
Did you say female :gorgeous: fisheries officers?:smitten: :smitten:

So are we going to do the jokes or take them as done & chuckle quietly to ourselves;D .


27-01-2008, 09:01 PM
I went for a walk on the old Hornibrook Highway this afternoon, if their would have been any fishing inspectors they would have been writing a few tickets as I saw 2 different people using cast nets that were to big and their was other people that had bream in their buckets that were about 20cm.

I walk the bridge most Sundays and it is the same scenero every time people taking undersize bream and whiting and people using oversize cast nets but from what I have just read in a previous article if your going to break the laws do it on a weekend or public holiday as your chance of getting caught appear to be nil.