FISHERMEN netted a couple of mudcrabs but there was no sign of a stonefish in a long-running search for the poisonous creature in Evandale Lake.
The Gold Coast City Council has spent more than two weeks hunting for the potentially deadly fish which was spotted in the Bundall lake last month.
Contractors from the Department of Fisheries yesterday pulled up nets for the first time to reveal the crabs and a number of other fish.
The catch was returned to the nearby Nerang River.
The netting will continue over the next few days and is expected to cost $5000.
The lake will remain closed until the stonefish is caught.
It is understood the fish needs to be removed from the lake for insurance purposes.
The council is yet to devise a plan for capturing the stonefish if the netting operation fails.
The netting comes after Sea World divers failed to find the stonefish after scouring the 7m-deep lake. They did find a golf cart.
Council officers are certain a stonefish is in the lake after a member of the public captured the highly venomous fish on video.
Sea World experts identified it as a stonefish and council officers verified the video was taken in the lake.