The Environment Protection Authority is reminding Canberrans that fish traps and enclosed nets are illegal in the ACT’s lakes and waterways after a net was found in Weston Creek by EPA officers.
EPA said the officers found the ‘opera house’ style net in a pond near Kirkpatrick Street in Weston Creek during a regular waterway inspection.
Enclosed yabby nets, including ‘opera house’ style trap, are now banned in all waterways in the nation’s capital, including private waters and dams, after amendments to the Fisheries Act 2000 passed in the Legislative Assembly last month.
Fisherman found using the illegal traps and nets can incur penalties of up to $5000.
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EPA spokesperson Narelle Sargent said officers would be especially vigilant following warmer weather, as a number of illegal nets were seized across the Territory last summer.
“Fishing traps can cause great harm to some of our protected species, having been responsible for the deaths of platypus, turtles and other fish and aquatic mammals,” Ms Sargent said. “Canberrans are reminded that under ACT law, fish traps, enclosed nets and set lines are not permitted in the ACT’s lakes and rivers.
“EPA officers respond to information received from the public or other areas of government concerning potential breaches of Canberra’s environmental legislation.”
EPA officers are proactively checking the Territory’s lakes and rivers including monitoring algae and turbidity levels, retrieving samples of any suspicious or potentially hazardous liquids for further analysis and searching for persons or equipment in breach of ACT fishing regulations.
Canberrans are encouraged to report any issues or concerns to the EPA they can call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
Click here for more information on ACT fishing rules.