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Handle Murray Cod with care

30 December 2013

Brush up on your knowledge of the correct handling of Murray cod by 1 January.

The catch-and-release season opens on New Year’s Day as part of the Murray cod management arrangements, which permit catch and release activities between January 1 and July 31.

The fishery will then close to fishing from 1 August to 31 December, along with a ban on trolling from a moving vessel for all freshwater species. These arrangements have been in place since 2011 and will continue in 2014 to provide ongoing protection to Murray cod stocks.

Murray cod is a vulnerable species, and as a result it must be handled with extreme care. It’s illegal to lift any size Murray cod out of the water, and anyone who is caught doing so will be fined.

The following handling techniques for Murray cod are also recommended:

  •     avoid using tight lines and playing fish to exhaustion
  •     use barbless hooks or barbless trebles on lures
  •     use a knotless landing net to support the fish in the water
  •     cut the line outside the mouth for deep hooked fish, and don’t try to remove the hook
  •     if using a fish grip, don’t hold the fish vertically in the water.
Under the current management arrangements, it’s also illegal to target or take Murray cod in any section of the Chowilla floodplain year-round.

Anyone who spots illegal fishing activity can report it on the 24 hour FISHWATCH number 1800 065 522. Callers can speak to a Fisheries Officer and may choose to remain anonymous. Alternatively, reports of illegal fishing activity can also be made through the SA Recreation Fishing Guide smartphone app, which can be downloaded from http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/recfishingapp.

For more information on safe handling techniques for releasing Murray cod, visit the PIRSA website at http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/fisheries/recreational_fishing/recfishingapp to watch a demonstration video and download a copy of the Murray Cod Recreational Fishing Brochure.

murray cod  Photo: www.fishnet.com.au