by Paul Sellars
Three Sale men are facing charges after allegedly exceeding the catch limit for dusky flathead at Bemm River in East Gippsland yesterday.
The men, aged 34, 40, and 41 respectively, were allegedly found in possession of 57 dusky flathead when inspected by Fisheries Officers upon returning to the Sydenham Inlet boatramp at Bemm River.
Two of the men will also be charged with fishing without a Victorian Recreational Fishing Licence.
Their vessel and associated fishing equipment, together with the fish, were also seized. The daily catch limit for dusky flathead is five per person. Anglers are reminded that the size limit for dusky flathead has recently been changed to a minimum size of 30cm and maximum size of 55cm.
Acting Senior Fisheries Officer Rick Morton said size and catch limits were in place to safeguard the sustainability of the dusky flathead fishery in East Gippsland and that fishers found breaking the laws faced stiff penalties.
The maximum penalty for exceeding the catch limit for dusky flathead is $2820 while a fine of
$141 applies for fishing without a Recreational Fishing Licence. 'Fisheries Officers will be maintaining an active presence in East Gippsland this summer to ensure holidaymakers and other fishers comply with all relevant fisheries regulations,' Mr Morton said.
Anyone who sees or suspects illegal fishing activity in Victoria is urged to contact the 24-hour fisheries offence reporting line 13FISH.