Fisheries Victoria has recently introduced Fisheries (Murray Spiny Freshwater Crayfish) Notice 7/2013 which will change the regulations for the recreational harvest of Murray spiny freshwater crayfish in Victorian waters.
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The New South Wales government has recently changed its fisheries regulations for the recreational harvest of this species, which creates a significant potential risk that fishers could shift their effort to take advantage of the longer open season, smaller minimum legal size and larger bag limits in Victoria.
After undertaking consultation in accordance with section 3A of the Fisheries Act 1995, the following changes are made to the Victorian fisheries regulations:
Changing the opening of the Murray spiny freshwater crayfish fishing season from 1 May to 1 June to protect pre- spawning females.
Increasing the minimum size limit (from the rear of the eye socket to the centre rear of the carapace) Murray spiny freshwater crayfish from 9 cm to 10 cm and introducing a maximum size limit of 12 cm, to ensure all females reach sexual maturity and that very large crayfish can continue within the population.
Reducing the daily bag limit for Murray spiny freshwater crayfish from five to two and decreasing the possession limit from five to four.
These changes are effective immediately and will be in place for at least twelve months.