Environment

Brazen fishers face fines after being caught in Swampy Plains and Thredbo rivers

Katrina Condie8 November 2021
Man fishing in river

Fishers are reminded to check before casting a line in the Snowy Mountains region after anglers were recently caught fishing in the Gaden Trout Hatchery. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Three fishers have been caught breaching fishing closures in the Swampy Plains River and Thredbo River in the Snowy Mountains region.

Two fishers were allegedly fishing inside the Gaden Trout Hatchery closure on the Thredbo River, near Jindabyne. One of these fishers caught a rainbow trout as NSW Department of Primary Industries fisheries officers approached him.

A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesperson said the third fisher was seen parking his vehicle below the Khancoban weir face adjacent to Swampy Plains River, and had a rod and reel combination with worms as bait when approached by fisheries officers. The fisher was within the 120-metre closure from the weir face of Khancoban Pondage.

Fishers positioning themselves on or just outside closure boundaries are still prohibited from casting into closed waters.

Many of the closures near dams or weirs are safety related, and failure to comply can attract a $500 on-the-spot fine.

Gaden Trout Hatchery, located on the Thredbo River, 10km northwest of Jindabyne, is one of Australia’s main centres for breeding and rearing cold water sport fish.


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Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout and Atlantic salmon are produced by NSW Department of Primary Industries and stocked into the dams and river systems of trout fisheries in the Snowy Mountains, Southern Highlands, Central Tablelands and New England areas.

The Recreational Fishing Trust has enabled the department’s fish stocking program, which enhances recreational fishing and provides stock for the aquaculture industry, as well as funding conservation activities, visitor education and employment opportunities that bring economic benefits to regional areas.

The Snowy catchment provides many fishing opportunities for anglers to catch a variety of trout species, from Tumut in the west, Bombala in the east, Crookwell in the north, and Khancoban in the south.

Artificial fly and lure fishing is permitted in the Thredbo River (or Crackenback River), and its creeks and tributaries upstream from where it enters the backed-up waters of Lake Jindabyne, but not including the portion of Thredbo River from the upstream extremity of the public reserve known as Paddys Corner, upstream for a distance of 2.4km immediately adjacent to Gaden Trout Hatchery, and the waters of Sawpit Creek.

Artificial fly and lure fishing is also permitted in the waters of Khancoban Creek, together with all of its tributaries, from its confluence with the backed-up waters of Khancoban Pondage upstream to its source, and including the part of Broken Back Creek from the wall of Murray 2 Pondage downstream to its confluence with the waters of Khancoban Creek.


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During the fishing season, fishers are permitted to use one attended rod and line, with not more than two hooks attached; as well as artificial flies and lures only; with not more than three treble hooks, or three double hooks, attached to any lure; and a landing net used as an ancillary for retrieval of fish lawfully taken.

Bait fishing is not permitted.

When taking Atlantic salmon, brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout in trout-spawning streams, the maximum quantity a person may take on any one day is one, and the maximum quantity a person may have in their possession is two, consisting of any single species or a combination of species.

The legal length when taking Atlantic salmon, brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout in trout-spawning streams is 50cm.

NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries officers regularly patrol waterways and impoundments to ensure compliance with NSW fishing regulations, and distribute freshwater fishing guides and sticky fish measuring rulers.

Fishers are reminded to familiarise themselves with local rules and regulations, including the boundaries of all fishing closures. They can download the FishSmart NSW app to stay up to date with all the latest information, including rules and regulations.

For further information, visit NSW Department of Primary Industries, or call 1300 550 474.

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