The Murray Crayfish, which is native to Murray and Murrumbigee Rivers in southern NSW, is considered a vulnerable species due to a significant decline in its numbers over recent years.
Currently, an interim order is in place, allowing the conditional continuation of recreational fishing for Murray crayfish. The NSW Government is seeking feedback on proposals to make these regulations permanent.
The government have issued a Species Impact Statement evaluating the impacts of the proposed fishing rules for Murray crayfish. The statement calls for ongoing monitoring of Murray crayfish numbers so that any changes in population can be quickly identified and understood.
The current Murray Crayfish fishing regulations are:
- minimum size limit of 10cm;
- maximum size limit of 12cm;
- no taking or harming of females carrying eggs;
- bag and possession limits (2 and 4 respectively);
- fishing permitted only in open season: from June 1 to August 31;
- five hoop nets per person;
- when using a hoop net the letters “HN”, the users name and address must be clearly marked on the float; and
- removal of head, tail or claws in, on or adjacent to the waters is prohibited.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson said that the findings of the Species Impact Statement, advice from the Fisheries Scientific Committee (FSC), other relevant advisory councils and public submissions will be taken into account before a decision is made.
The impact statement will be on public exhibition for the next four weeks.