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Mark your Traps or they will be Seized

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AUSTRALIA - Fishers are reminded to ensure their traps are correctly labelled following an increasing number of unmarked traps being seized from Moogerah and Maroon Dams.

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Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol Officer (QBFP) Coby Walker said the marking of apparatus in the area was an ongoing issue.

"Over the past few months, 134 unmarked traps have been seized by QBFP from the dams," he said.

"The seizure of traps could be avoided if fishers ensure the traps are marked and set correctly.

"Anyone who uses a trap must have a tag on the trap showing the owner's surname and address.

"If a trap is not fixed to something stationary above the water level while being used, like a branch, wooden stake or a boat, it must have a light-coloured float attached that is clearly visible on the surface of the water.

"The float, which could be a two or three-litre milk container, must also feature the owner's surname, and be at least 15 cm in each of its dimensions."

Mr Walker said fishers should be mindful of specific size requirements for traps.

"The majority of traps seized are funnel and opera house traps," he said.

"Funnel and opera house traps must be no longer than 70cm or no more than 50cm in width or height. There must be no more than four entrances, with each hole or ring measuring no more than 10cm in any dimension.

"The trap entrance must be made of rigid material. If the trap does not have a mesh made of rigid material, the size of the mesh must be no more than 25mm."

Mr Walker said the funnel and opera house traps seized were most likely used to catch redclaw crayfish, which are widespread in the dams.

"It's important for fishers to be familiar with redclaw regulations in Queensland. Different rules and requirements apply to different regions, and yabbies can be frequently misidentified," he said.

"In South East Queensland, redclaw are classed as non-indigenous, so no size or possession limits apply in the region.

"It is an offence to return a redclaw crayfish to the water if caught, to use them as bait or to place them in dams or ponds without the relevant permits.

"This also means that egg bearing females and juvenile redclaw must be kept," he said.

"A maximum penalty of $220 000 applies to those found releasing or returning redclaw to dams or waterways without the appropriate permit."