Giant illegal fish trap find prompts fresh warning from EPA

Ian Bushnell 18 January 2018

Environment Protection Officer Tim Gibb with an illegal fish trap removed from Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Supplied.

The Environment Protection Authority has hauled an illegal and ‘disturbingly large’ fish trap from Lake Burley Griffin as part of their regular monitoring of the lake.

The EPA has reissued a warning to Canberrans that fish traps and enclosed nets were illegal in the ACT’s lakes and waterways and offenders faced fines of up to $5,000 if caught.

The EPA’s Narelle Sargent said fishing traps were known to cause harm to protected species of fish and had also been responsible for the deaths of platypus, turtles and aquatic mammals.

“Canberrans are reminded that under ACT law, fish traps, enclosed nets (including the popular ‘opera house’ style) and set lines are not permitted in the ACT’s lakes and rivers,” Mrs Sargent said.

“Penalties of up to $5,000 apply to people found using such traps and nets. It is important that we all work together to support the health of our waterways and that includes appropriate fishing activities.”

EPA officers found the trap during a regular waterway inspection where officers monitor algae and turbidity levels, retrieve samples of any suspicious or potentially hazardous liquids for further analysis and search for persons or equipment in breach of ACT fishing regulations.

Illegal fishing activity will remain a key focus for the EPA throughout 2018 and the community can report any issues or concerns to the EPA or call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.

For information on ACT fishing rules visit

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