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Murray Cod, Crayfish Season Closed from September

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AUSTRALIA - The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is reminding fishers that the Murray cod and Murray crayfish fishing season will close from next Saturday, 1 September.

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DPI Inland Fisheries Manager, Cameron Westaway, said that fishing for Murray cod is closed every year from September 1 to November 30 to protect the species during the breeding season.

"Murray cod, which grow up to 1.8 metres and over 100 kilograms, are native to the Murray Darling River system and are a prized catch for freshwater anglers," Mr Westaway said.

"The three month fishing closure aims to protect this valued species during their breeding season so that there will be plenty of Murray cod for fishers in the future."

Mr Westaway said trout cod, a close relative of the Murray cod found in parts of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers alongside Murray cod, is a threatened species totally protected all year round.

"The trout cod protection area on the Murray River between Yarrawonga Weir wall and Tocumwal Road bridge is also closed to all forms of fishing during the Murray cod closed season," he said.

"Trout cod can be differentiated from Murray cod by their overhanging upper jaw, convex forehead and spotted markings."

DPI Fisheries Compliance Director, Glenn Tritton said that the Murray crayfish fishing season also closes on September 1 and would not reopen until May 1 next year.

"The annual Murray crayfish closure coincides with the dormant season of this iconic native species," Mr Tritton said.

"Murray crayfish are extremely slow growing so it is important that we limit the season to four months a year to protect them from over-fishing.

"Our fishing laws are in place to protect, conserve and improve the States fisheries resources for future generations.

"Fisheries officers will be patrolling our inland waters to ensure that fishers are adhering to both the Murray crayfish and Murray cod closures, and that other fishing rules are being followed."

A summary of the freshwater fishing rules can be found in the 2012 NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide, which is available online, at DPI offices, fishing licence agents and bait and tackle shops.