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Fishing Report: New size and bag limits bring changes to fishing! 25/02/2010


Can you believe a full year has passed since major changes to recreational fishing size limits and bag limits came in to legislation? And to mark the one year anniversary of these changes, anglers need to get used to an increase in size limits with 3 more species on Monday March 1, 2010. With last year's changes came the challenge of educating anglers, policing the waterways and making sure the documentation was readily available to anyone using Queensland waterways.

So a year on, have anglers taken changes in their stride? Local angler Gisle Hemmy welcomed the changes last year and said they never affected him or the way he fished.
"I rarely keep fish and prefer to practice catch and release, however I agree with the increase in bag limits and minimum sizes as 23cm for a bream for instance was realistically too small, just think of the tiny fillet that comes off such a small fish", says Gisle.

Other anglers have applauded last year's increase in bag limits and minimum sizes, even suggesting that if bream minimum sizes are increased, shouldn't whiting be the next one to increase in coming years.

Now while a large number of species were put under scrutiny and researched between 2007 and 2009, thus resulting in the changes in limits we saw in March 2009, some limits were proposed for a later date. Why is this so you ask?

In February last year, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries resource manager Mark Lightowler reminded anglers to grab a copy of the latest bag and size limit rules given the changes coming over the following 12 months. Mr Lightowler also clarified why some limits took longer to implement:

"The size limit for bream will remain at 23 cm until March 1, 2010 when it will change to 25 cm - this delay is to allow both commercial and recreational fishers time to adjust to this change as this is such a popular fish for both sectors."

So as of Monday, be aware of the new regulations for bream, tarwhine and tailor as detailed below:



35cm min

no max

20 fish limit

Bream (pikey, yellow fin)

25cm min

no max

Combined limit of 30 in total of pikey, yellowfin bream and tarwhine


25cm min

no max

Combined limit of 30 in total of pikey, yellowfin bream and tarwhine


Size limits are in the form of minimum size limits and also some maximum size limits. They are not just a random figure plucked out of the air by a government official, but are typically based on biological research into each species' reproductive cycles and projected population protection. Minimum size limits generally allow fish to spawn at least once and contribute to the population before they are taken.

However, in some species the larger individuals contribute more to the population, which is why maximum size limits apply. For example, most barramundi begin their lives as males and later, as they grow larger, become females. A maximum size limit is applied to protect large females and to allow them to spawn. This is also similar with flathead, it should be made well known that the older (and mostly larger) females carry and release the eggs.

Bag limits are the number of fish that one person can legally take and keep. Bag limits are necessary to conserve heavily-exploited species and species that are susceptible to capture. To share the catch more equitably among anglers, reduce the illegal marketing of fish and to promote ethical and responsible behaviour when using a limited natural resource.

And just a reminder that this past year the use of inverted dilly apparatus (witches hats) is to be phased out. The use of this apparatus will be prohibited from 2 April 2010.

On a final note, anglers looking forward to the full moon each month may be disappointed in Feb as this month we missed out! There is a full moon on March 1st and a second full moon on the 30th March, the second full moon in a calendar month is called a ‘blue moon'. Believe it or not this is actually the second ‘blue moon' for 2010 as we also had one in January. Anglers who love fishing the full moon will be rubbing their hands together happily as this month they are doubling their luck!



Noosa:  Tailor to 3.1kg along the north shore.  Jacks on live bait and lure around the bridges, rock bars and snags throughout the river. Whiting in the frying pan.   Mud crabs  in Weyba Creek and  between the ferry crossing and the Lake Cooroibah. Spanish mackerel to 18kg on Wednesday from Sunshine Reef.

Maroochy: Whiting around in the river mouth on the marooning making tide. Trevally and bream in the cod hole. Mud crabs from the creeks and Bli Bli.

Kawana: Tarpon on small clear surface lures in Lake Kawana. Plenty of good sized bream  in the lower Mooloolah. Mud crab between McKenzie’s bridge and Kawana Way.

Caloundra: Bream off the boardwalk.  A few mud crabs in the creeks. 



Paul Anderson put in the hard yards on his kayak up off Coolum. His slow trolled extra large pilly caught the attention of this 15.25kg spanish mackerel, which after hooking up almost spool his 8000 sized spinning reel spooled with braid on the initial run.



The brackish water that has been flowing down the river made conditions ideal for young Billy to fish live bait along the rocky bar in the Southern Channel for jack to 2.15kg and estuary cod.



The sand crabs didn't mind the brackish water either, making their way up around Chambers Island on the bigger morning tides. Gisle potted in a matter of 3 hrs.



The Bow family love thier mud crabs and enjoy a morning on the water trying their luck. Mitch and his dad Shayne caught these 4 crabs around the 800-900g mark in the Bli Bli channel.



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