THE ACT Government is urging residents to be on the lookout for illegal yabby traps in our waterways as they pose a significant threat to native wildlife, including platypus and endangered fish.
National Parks and Catchments Regional Manager Brett McNamara said yabby traps, such as Opera House traps, are illegal in public waters in the ACT and the eastern half of New South Wales.
“A few retailers in the ACT are selling these traps. The public should be aware that it is actually an offence to be in possession of an Opera House trap if you are in or beside public waters in the ACT and that it is illegal to use them in open waters,” Brett said.
“Opera House traps are known to catch and drown air breathing animals such as platypus, turtles, native water rats and birds. The use of Opera House traps is one of the greatest threats to platypus and is responsible for an increasing numbers of deaths each year.
“Most recently a dead platypus and three threatened Murray Crayfish were hauled from the Murrumbidgee River in an illegal yabby trap.
“The public are asked to immediately report any yabby traps found in lakes and rivers in the ACT and Upper Murrumbidgee region.
“There are a number of signs of an illegal trap, including rope or string tied close to the bank going into the waterway, a plastic bottle bobbing in a fixed position in the stream or a lonely fishing float or a small plastic ball not moving with the current.
“We are also asking people to be on the lookout for discarded fishing equipment. If you see any, please remove it to prevent further harm to wildlife.”
If you see an illegal trap please report it to Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.