Caught and convicted – illegal whitebait fishing

Manager of Compliance, Stephen Hepworth, preparing to weigh some illegally taken whitebait

On Monday August 8, Peter Thomas Odegaard of Wynyard appeared in the Burnie Magistrates Court on whitebait charges. Mr. Odegaard pleaded guilty and was convicted of taking and possessing whitebait without a valid whitebait licence.

Fisheries Officers and Tasmania Police caught Mr. Odegaard at the Inglis River on the 20th of October 2015, where he was found in possession of 1.99Kg of whitebait. Mr. Odegaard was fined $3028 plus ordered to pay $81.09 in court costs.

The whitebait season runs from 1 October to 11 November. If you’re over 10 years old, and you want to fish for white bait you need a separate whitebait.  If you’re under 10 years, you can’t fish for whitebait at all.

Only certain waters open for whitebait fishing each year. For this year’s list check out the Tasmanian Inland Fishing Code 2016-17.

Whitebait can only be taken from sunrise to sunset.

You can’t sell whitebait and there is a strict limit to how much you can catch each day (2 kg) and for the whole season (10 kg).

We do this to look after the whitebait population. Too much fishing and the populations would be damaged.

If you see activity that looks wrong please contact Stephen Hepworth, IFS Manager of Compliance and Operations on 0438 338 530. Even if you’re not sure, let us know and we’ll check it out.

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