Calls to ban commercial netting in Boyne River

SOME of the biggest names in Gladstone’s recreational fishing sector have had enough of our waters being “pillaged” by professional anglers.

Ernie Vaughan, who runs the Tannum Crab Classic, said himself, Boyne Tannum HookUp president Jen McGuire, and the owners of Pat’s Tackle World and Boyne Island Bait and Tackle wanted something done about it.

Mr Vaughan said he’s concerned people from places like Bundaberg were coming to the region to fish, which is ruining the waterways for Gladstone’s anglers.

“We are noticing a lot more professional fishermen in town since they put a netting closure up near the Fitzroy,” he said. “We’re not here to kick out our local professionals, they’re here to make a living.”

Mr Vaughan said something had to be done by the State Government to ensure the long-term sustainability of the region’s fishing sector.

The calls come after the Boyne River was inundated with barramundi after Lake Awoonga spilled this year.

Mr Vaughan said hearing commercial operators were taking these barramundi made no sense as they were barely better tasting than “cat food”.

It is not the first time there has been a call for commercial netting to be banned. In 2011 there were calls for the same thing.

Netting in the region is not illegal, the season opens from May 1, which this year was the day after the Boyne Tannum HookUp.

Mr Vaughan said personally he would like to see a total net ban in the Boyne and Calliope rivers.

“There’s plenty of open water that they can run nets,” he said.

Apart from the impacts of netting on fish, Mr Vaughan was also concerned out-of-town people were decimating the number of crabs being caught too.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher was unavailable for comment.

However, last month Mr Butcher said he would start discussions around the possibility of some net-free zones in the region.

He declined to say he supported the idea but said he would “look into it”.


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