It’s time to get the hoop nets out, because this Saturday, June 1, Victorians can once again try their hand at catching some tasty Murray spiny freshwater crayfish for the table.
The three-month fishing season north of the Great Dividing Range is an exciting time for many campers and fishers, who look forward to spending time with family and friends while they catch the prized freshwater crayfish.
Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said Murray spiny crayfish season is his favorite time of year too, because it’s a great excuse to take the kids camping and get them outdoors.
"It’s something everyone can try, especially families and kids of all ages, and guaranteed to make your family camping trip one to remember!”
While Mr Dowling is keen for all Victorians to give it a go, he would also like to remind people to know their limits and remember to clearly label their hoop nets if using them.
“We want everyone to do the right thing, so it's important to read up on bag and possession limits, carefully measure the size of crays caught and fish with the right gear. This includes clearly labelling your nets with name and address.”
"It's also really important to return undersize or oversize crays and females in berry so the fishery remains sustainable in the long run for all to enjoy."
Murray cray fishing rules include a:
- daily bag limit of 2 crays per person on or near Victorian waters;
- total possession limit of 4 crays anywhere in Victoria including your car, boat or home;
- minimum carapace length (the hard upper shell) of 10cm and a maximum of 12cm;
- valid recreational fishing licence, unless exempt;
- requirement to immediately release female crays with eggs or young attached, and any undersize or oversize crays.
Mr Dowling said equipment restrictions also applied.
"They can be taken by hand, up to 10 baited lines without hooks, or with 5 or 10 hoop nets depending on the waterway."
Mr Dowling said Operation Oak would target Victoria's north central and north east river systems, particularly during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
"Officers from across the state will be conducting uniformed and plain-clothed patrols of rivers and lakes to ensure fishers are fishing sustainably."
“It’s also important to keep in mind that a New South Wales fishing licence is required to fish the Murray River.”
For more information about Murray cray fishing rules visit www.vfa.vic.gov.au/fishingguide.