QFS News Release
21 August 2001

Redclaw Fishers
to Pay $500 Fines
FAIRBAIRN Dam redclaw fishers apprehended in boats tending their traps set within the regulated closed waters of the dam wall have been fined up to $500 plus $60.25 costs in the Emerald Magistrate’s Court on August 20.

Department of Primary Industries Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol prosecuting officer, Shaun Pobar, said field officers patrolling at the Dam on Easter Sunday (April 15) earlier this year had issued five breaches for the closed waters offence.

Mr Pobar said signage was in place to define the closed water boundary banning all fishing activities within 200 metres upstream of the dam wall and 400m downstream in accordance with the State’s Fisheries Freshwater Management Plan 1999. Vessels were also restricted from operating within 100m of the upstream side of the dam wall under Marine Safety legislation.

Mr Pobar said those prosecuted were operating the boats within 15m of the dam wall.

Three breaches were dealt with by Magistrate Andrew Cridland with two cases still pending. Stuart Ian Barton, Emerald (who pleaded guilty in writing) and Michael John Glendenning, Mackay, were each fined $500 plus $60.25 court costs while David Charles Ling, Emerald, who pleaded guilty in person was fined $100 plus costs.

Mr Pobar said Emerald’s Fairbairn Dam redclaw fishery was now considered a major drawcard for local and visiting fishers with valued economic spin-offs for the region.

"It is imperative that all fishers observe the regulations which permit a maximum of four redclaw pots per person," said Mr Pobar.

"Each pot and float attachment must be clearly marked with the owner’s surname and address. Pots must also have an opening no greater than 10cm wide to prevent freshwater tortoise from being trapped and drowned," he said.

Mr Pobar said the debate relating to an imposition of redclaw crayfish bag limits for Fairbairn Dam was currently under review by the Fishing Industry Development Council.

Mr Pobar said unrestricted taking of redclaw from Lake Tinaroo and Burdekin Dam in past years had led to a total collapse of the fishery resource. A bag limit of 40 redclaw had since been put into place at Lake Tinaroo and the Burdekin Dam system was still under review.

A total ban was also in place to prevent anglers taking egg bearing redclaw females from Lake Tinaroo and waterways throughout the Gulf and Far North Queensland.

Further information : Shaun Pobar, QBFP Prosecuting Officer, Yeppoon Ph (07) 4933 6404
Public Affairs Officer: Russ Boadle, Rockhampton Ph (07) 4936 0320; Mobile 0418 789939
Department of Primary Industries Public Affairs
Central Region Office, Box 6014, Rockhampton Mail Centre, Q 4702 Fax (07) 4936 0317
DPI Call Centre 8am-6pm weekdays on local call 13 25 23