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Phone call nets alleged Murray cod thief

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A PHONE call to Fisheries Victoria’s 24 hour reporting line has led to a middle aged man facing charges of using commercial fishing equipment in the Goulburn River. Information received by phone prompted a covert operation by Fisheries Officers upstream of Nagambie over the Easter long weekend.

Acting Regional Supervising Fisheries Officer Murray Burns said his staff were able to watch on Monday as the man allegedly set and retrieved Set lines. “The Set lines were designed to target Murray cod, an iconic native freshwater fish which is also a Priority Species,” Mr Burns said. “The man’s boat, trailer and motor were seized by Fisheries Officers, along with the Set lines and associated equipment.”

We shouldn’t need to remind recreational anglers that the possession or use of commercial fishing equipment, including Set lines, Drumnets and Mesh nets, is prohibited and carries heavy penalties. “Fisheries Officers have the power to seize any fish, fishing gear or other equipment, including boats and vehicles, that have been used in an alleged offence against the Fisheries Act.”

A brief of evidence will be prepared in relation to the matter and the man will be charged on summons. Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity is urged to call the hotline 13 FISH (13 3474).