NSW Fishers Encouraged To Round Up Yabby Traps To Help Restore Fish Habitat

Written by: The Griffith Phoenix


Recreational fishers across NSW are urged to swap their old opera house yabby traps for a new Oar-Gee Plow lure.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has partnered with TierraMar, through its Ghostnets Australia program, OzFish Unlimited and Boating, Camping Fishing (BCF) to encourage the recreational fishing community to participate in protecting the future of fishing and the health of the state’s waterways.

As part of the initiative, fishers will be able to swap their old unwanted opera house yabby traps for an Oar-Gee Plow lure at upcoming events to support sustainable fishing practices across NSW.

Deputy Director General Fisheries, NSW DPI, Sean Sloan said the state had taken the lead by promoting responsible yabby fishing.

“This yabby trap swap initiative is a fantastic example of NSW DPI working with recreational fishers and community organisations to encourage sustainable fishing with the added benefit of great outcomes for our unique native fauna,” Mr Sloan said.

Popular yabby fishing has put pressure on native wildlife that can unwittingly get caught inside opera house traps.

These traps are now illegal in NSW.

The more environmentally friendly open-top pyramid hoop nets allow non-target species to escape if they swim in while still effectively catching a feed of tasty yabbies.

Director of Habitat Programs at OzFish, Cassie Price said because Yabby fishing really got going in the summer now was the perfect time to update gear, and rather than have it go to landfill give it another life.

“We know there are loads of rec fishers who have old opera house traps stored in their garage or shed,” Ms Price said.

“Rather than simply throw them out, we’re encouraging anyone with old traps to come and drop them in for recycling and get a free Aussie-made lure.

“The modern open-top nets are fun to use, especially for the kids, as they encourage active yabby fishing rather than set and forget.

“And they’re friendly to other animals, too.

“By using pyramid or hoop nets you’re swapping out your outdated gear, and in the process keeping your local waterway healthy and thriving, now and for the next generation.”

Managing Director of TierraMar, Anissa Lawrence said fishers were part of the fabric of our community and for many, it was more than just catching a feed, it was a way of life.

“This is why we’re encouraging them and their families to show up for the waterways they love,” Ms Lawrence said.

“This is a very exciting program, and the first of its kind in Australia, as the opera house traps collected at these events will be recycled into useful products for fishers, with the proceeds being used to support habitat restoration.

“By bringing in your old traps, you’re not just adopting more sustainable fishing practices, you’re investing in the future of fishing, and they ongoing health of our waterways.

“And as a thank you, we’ll give you a new Oar-Gee lure.

Upcoming drop events include:

  • Wauchope (August 4 to 6) Mid North Coast Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish and Boat Show;
  • Gunnedah (August 22 to 24) AgQuip Field Day;
  • Dubbo (September 15 to 17) Orana Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish and Boat Show;
  • Wagga (February 2024) Lifestyle and Leisure Expo; and
  • Orange (March 2024) Central West Caravan & Camping Outdoor Expo.

Stay Connected


    Get in Contact

Griffith News to your inbox

Sign up now for the latest news from the Griffith Area direct to your inbox.