Illegal Fish Traps
The Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group are raising awareness in the community about fishing regulations along the Canning River and other freshwaters in regard to fish traps, also known as ‘opera house’ traps or marron ‘pots’.
The use of these traps is illegal through-out Western Australia and cannot be used in our rivers at any time.
One of the main issues with the use of these traps is that they are usually baited and therefore attract other animals into them. If any air-breathing animals, such as turtles or the native water rat, enter these traps, they drown and die.
Unfortunately, the Armadale Gosnells Landcare Group, regularly come across fish traps or ‘pots’ in the Canning River. It is believed that these traps are often used by local fisherman to catch marron and crayfish. Marron fishing has been a big part of the areas’ identity and it is thought that people do not realise that pots and traps are actually not allowed in the river.
It is also unfortunate that local fishing or camping shops sell many different varieties of these traps and the stores do not tell customers that they are illegal in WA, other than on private property.
There is still marron fishing permitted, but there are strict rules around when to fishing for them and what equipment is permitted. These rules are enforced by the Department of Fisheries to protect native animals and their habitats.
People are required to hold a recreational fishers licence to take marron and marron are only allowed to be caught during a short summer season. The open season is from 12 noon, 8 January – 12 noon, 5 February, annually. There are also restrictions on types of fishing gear allowed. Legal fishing gear includes one pole snare, or, six drop nets, or, one wire-basket crab scoop per licensed fisher. Each year the Department of Fisheries releases a recreational fishing guide for marron and fishers should refer to this for the full marron fishing regulations.
The Department of Fisheries also provide fact sheets on different species of freshwater crayfish in WA and other regulations regarding recreational fishing in freshwaters. Visit their website here.
If you see someone in the using traps in the river, it can be reported to the FishWatch phoneline, 1800 815 507. Your reports are treated in strict confidence and the Department of Fisheries recommend you do not approach anyone you think is involved in illegal fishing activity.