Watch the blotch
News release | 04 December, 2012
Fishers are being asked to brush up on their fish identification knowledge before hitting the water this holiday season.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district officer Rob McDonald said species misidentification was a common problem over the festive season.
"For some species, different rules apply for how many you can catch and keep and the minimum and maximum size limits," he said.
"If you catch a fish and you´re not sure what species it is, you might unknowingly be doing the wrong thing-for example keeping an undersize dusky flathead when you thought it was a sand flathead.
"It's easy to differentiate the dusky flathead from other flathead species, just watch the blotch."
How to tell the difference:
- To distinguish dusky flathead from other flatheads, check for the large dark blotch on the tail.
- For the bartailed flathead, check for a yellow blotch in the middle of the tail.
- For the sand flathead, check for no dots or yellow patches on tail.
- For the yellowtailed flathead, check the upper section of the tail for the prominent yellow blotch.
Table: Flathead size and possession limits
|Fish species||Size limit||Possession limit|
|Dusky flathead||40cm min 75cm max||5|
|All other flathead||30cm min||Combined limit of 5 in total of all species (except dusky flathead)|
Mr McDonald said size and possession limits were important to protect fish species from overfishing and ensure the sustainability of Queensland's waterways.
"QBFP officers regularly patrol over the holiday season to ensure fishers are complying with the rules," he said.
"By misidentifying your catch, you are risking an on-the-spot fine of $440 or a maximum penalty of $110,000.
"Fishers can view the rules online at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au and can always pick up a species identification guide and fish ruler from their local bait and tackle store.
"Use these handy identification tools and make sure you fish within the limits."
To order your free Queensland Recreational Boating and Fishing Guide, call 13 25 23 or download a copy from www.fisheries.qld.gov.au
For more information on fish identification and size and possession limits, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
Images: For images of the above mentioned fish, visit the Fisheries Queensland Facebook media centre at http://a.pgtb.me/db1k
Media contact: Kirsty Skene, 30878574