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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Barra reminder: off limits means release immediately

Most of us are well aware that as of Midday on the 1st of November the Barramundi closed season began. Over the last few years anglers have become more aware of the rules regarding this particular closed season. In particular, the fact that deliberate targeting of the species is in fact against the law. The issue becomes the number of other species that an angler 'may' be targeting in the creeks at this particular time. Barramundi then become an accidental capture and release as soon as possible. The vast majority of Queensland anglers are happy to accept this legislation and release any Barramundi captured while chasing fish like Mangrove Jack. What has been less well understood is at what point a captured Barramundi becomes 'in possession' and therefore a fineable offence. Many anglers like to capture a quick photograph of their fish before releasing it back to the water. But this action has always been a bit of an 'unknown' with regards to the law, even among fisheries officers! But Fisheries Queensland have just release the following statement on their Facebook page that clarifies the rules. Please make yourself aware of the laws that apply to the Barramundi closed season as I expect Fisheries officers will be enforcing this heavily this closed season. Barramundi will be on the menu again midday February 1st 2013

Fishers are reminded that barramundi is off limits in East Coast waters and the Gulf of Carpentaria, following recent reports of fishers targeting the species during the closures.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district officer Rob Ibell said the closure was in place to protect barramundi stock during their vulnerable spawning season.

"During spawning, millions of eggs will be laid, but only a few will survive the natural selection process," he said.

"Barramundi typically gather in one area to spawn, making them more vulnerable to predators and fishing pressure.

"It’s important that barramundi are not targeted for catch and release during a closed season as the stress of capture may prevent the fish from spawning.

“If accidentally caught, the fish must be released into the water immediately. It is not to be removed from the water for a photo or tagging.

“The purpose of these closures is to allow stocks to replenish. Targeting and stressing these fish by tagging and taking photos of them out of the water will not assist in the protection of this species.”

Mr Ibell said QBFP officers would be out patrolling Queensland waters over the spawning season.

“Officers conduct regular patrols during closed seasons and those found doing the wrong thing are risking an on-the-spot fine of $440 and a maximum penalty of $110,000,” he said.

The barramundi closure applies to East Coast waters and the Gulf of Carpentaria until noon 1 February 2013.

For more information on fishing closures in Queensland visit or call 13 25 23.