CLOSED SEASON to protect Mary River cod
Closed season for all fishing in the Mary upstream of Gympie, August, September and October
Some years back, the number of Mary River Cod in the wild was estimated to be as low as 600 individuals in their only natural habitat, the Mary River and its tributaries.
They have long been a “no take” species but nonetheless many are still caught, albeit subsequently released, although few anglers
would admit to having deliberately targeted them.
The need for a complete ban on fishing during the breeding period from August to October is now recognised as essential to ensure survival and has been in place for several years, although many anglers seem to be unaware of it.
The Mary River Cod’s reproductive behaviour makes it particularly vulnerable during these three months as the male is very defensive of the eggs, while continuously fanning water over them to keep them oxygenated, and ferociously guarding them against a bevy of predators.
Anyone dangling a line in the vicinity of a male on egg- tending duties is more than likely to hook one. When a male is removed from his well-tended eggs, egg mortality is high in even a short time. The unsuspecting angler, taking time to unhook his catch, and maybe pose for the apparently obligatory pic, may well have consigned several thousand young cod to oblivion.
This does not augur well for the survival of this iconic species and the fishing ban is designed to give a chance to recover.
There is a closed season for all fishing from August 1 to October 31, in both the Mary and tributaries upstream of Gympie. This includes Obi Obi Creek, Six Mile Creek, Kandanga, Amamoor and Yabba Creeks.
In two major cod habitat tributaries there is a year round ban on all fishing:
On Obi Obi Creek from the Baroon Pocket dam wall to Obi Obi Creek crossing 4 (Manuel Hornibrook Bridge).
And on Tinana Creek and tributaries upstream of Teddington Weir.
The DAF website informs that “a person must not possess or use a fishing line from 1st August to 31st October in the Mary River and adjoining waterways upstream of its junction with Six Mile Creek (near Gympie).”
The only exceptions to this are Baroon Pocket Dam, Borumba Dam and Lake Macdonald, all of which are stocked impoundments where fishing can take place during the closed season.
Fisheries officers will make patrols and will visit campgrounds during the Closed Season to ensure compliance. To report illegal fishing call 1800 017 116.
For Cod sake, go fish elsewhere.
Further information is available at https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1458973/recreational-fishing-rules-have-changed.pdf
To report illegal fishing call 1800 017 116.
Image right: MRCCC Chairman Ian Mackay shows Sunshine Coast Councillor David Law where fishing in the Mary River catchment is banned during August, September and October