Boonah resident warns local anglers of pest fish

Catching pest fish

Catching pest fish

A BOONAH resident has joined the fight against tilapia, disposing thousands of the pest fish from two Scenic Rim waterways.

Fred Schneider has rid waterways of tilapia around Lake Wyaralong and Lake Moogerah.

The 73-year-old angler said he went fishing at least four times a week to catch pest fish.

“I keep records of the thousands of tilapia and hundreds of carp I remove from the waterways each year,” he said.

“If I see any other anglers, I make sure they are aware about the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of this vermin fish.”

Seqwater also urged fishers to take care in removing and disposing tilapia from south-east Queensland waterways.

Seqwater biosecurity officer Perry Ward said new incursions of tilapia were caused by deliberate and accidental introduction of the species into dam storages and rivers.

“Unfortunately there have been reports of people using the tilapia as bait,” he said.

“In Queensland the law is very clear – tilapia can’t be kept, sold, used for bait, taken home for eating or used for any other purpose.”

Mr Ward said anglers who were caught doing these could face a hefty fine of more than $200,000.

He said Seqwater had undertaken a number of initiatives to limit the spread of tilapia.

“We have disposal bins for tilapia set up at some of our lake sites, local fish stocking groups release native fingerlings into our dam storages and we host community pest fishing days,” Mr Ward said. 

“Even though total eradication of tilapia in south-east Queensland is impossible, it’s important we do what we can to stop the spread.”

How to dispose of tilapia correctly

  • Bury the fish above the tidal influence and at least 50 m from surrounding watercourses, at a minimum depth determined by local council guidelines.
  • Dispose of the fish in waste bins.
  • Dispose of the water in which the fish was kept.