Anglers are putting their personal safety at risk by fishing in restricted areas within Seqwater’s dam catchments.
Seqwater senior field ranger Craig Hine, who works at Somerset Dam, said fishers were regularly ignoring restricted access signs and fences in pursuit of a good catch.
Mr Hine said there were good reasons why some areas were restricted to public access and that those trespassing could find themselves in danger as well as facing fines.
As an example, Mr Hine said he’d seen people carelessly kayaking next to dam walls and fishing underneath cone valves, where water from the dam may be released.
“Fishing in an area like that is not only unsafe but illegal,” Mr Hine said. “Under fisheries legislation, people are not allowed to fish that close to the wall.
“In heavy rainfall events, large amounts of water can be suddenly released via the cone valves - all the more reason to stay clear of it.”
Seqwater rangers say too many people are being caught fishing in restricted areas within Seqwater's dam catchments.
Mr Hine said Seqwater rangers conducted regular patrols and were catching more and more people fishing in restricted areas, especially during the summer holidays.
“At Seqwater, we take safety at our dams and weirs seriously and are urging people to play it safe and not enter these closed off areas for their own good.”
There have also been instances where people have been jumping fences to fish while balancing atop water pipes suspended above the Brisbane River.
Seqwater spokesman Mike Foster said fishing was popular across South East Queensland’s lakes and dams and there were plenty of spots that provided safe fishing opportunities.
“We provide a range of great outdoor recreation facilities for the community to enjoy, drawing more than 2.6 million visitors to our lakes and recreation sites each year," Mr Foster said.
“However, we strongly urge people not to enter any restricted sites to make sure they have a safe and enjoyable visit, on and off the water.”
Mr Foster said 18 of Seqwater’s lakes permitted fishing, 13 of which required a SIPS permit that could easily be purchased from The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Mr Foster said Seqwater was one of the few bulk water providers in Australia that managed open catchments, allowing the community to enjoy recreational activities on the dams and lakes that supply our drinking water.
For information about which Seqwater lakes permit shoreline and boat fishing visit Seqwater.com.au/recreation.
Seqwater spokesman Mike Foster says too many people are ignoring restricted access signs and barriers in pursuit of a good catch (Recording below):