“Murray cod and Murray crayfish are a prized catch of freshwater fishers and are native to the Murray Darling Basin,” Mr Tritton said.
“The Murray cod fishery is subject to closed periods every year to protect this native species during its breeding season and the Murray crayfish fishery is closed to each year to protect it during its dormant period.
“The Murray cod in particular is one of Australia’s largest freshwater fish growing up to 1.8 metres and weighing up to 50 kilograms.
“It is illegal to fish for this iconic species again until 1 December.
“Fishers are reminded the trout cod, a close relative of the Murray cod and found in parts of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers, and also the Eastern cod, found in the upper Clarence River in north eastern NSW, are totally protected all year round.”
Trout cod can be differentiated from Murray cod by their overhanging upper jaw, convex forehead and spotted markings.
The Trout Cod Protection Area on the Murray River between Yarrawonga Weir and Tocumwal Road bridge is also closed to all forms of fishing during the Murray cod closed season from September to November inclusive.
The Murray crayfish season remains closed until June 1 next year and when the season opens there are only two areas within the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers where they can be legally taken.
“Murray crayfish are the largest of spiny freshwater crayfish in NSW and the second largest freshwater crayfish in the world. However due to a range of threats, the species has declined in the lower Murray-Darling Basin,” Mr Tritton said.
“It has also recently been listed as a vulnerable species by the State’s Independent Fisheries Scientific Committee.
“Murray crayfish are a valued recreational species and arrangements have been put in place to provide continued recreational fishing opportunities.
“It is important that fishers continue to follow the new rules and regulations including the new bag, size and possession limits and the ban on taking berried females in order to ensure the sustainability of the Murray crayfish.
“These fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and improve our fisheries resources for future generations.
“Anyone who is unsure of the rules and regulations should contact their local Fisheries Office before they go fishing.”