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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Friday 17 November 2017

Illegal fishing activity in the Fitzroy River attracts large fine

​A 66-year-old Kalbarri man has been ordered to pay almost $1,500 by a magistrate in Broome, for illegally using fish traps to catch cherabin at Willems Pool in the Fitzroy River.

Cherabin are a small freshwater crayfish found in the Kimberley.

The Broome Court was told that on Thursday 29 June this year, Fisheries officers located six traps, all baited with dog biscuits. 

Graham Keith Simkin did not appear in court on Monday (13 November) and did not enter a plea. The court dealt with the charge in his absence and he was found guilty.

The court also heard that, on the day the Opera House traps were located, Simkin took part in a record of interview with Fisheries officers at Willems Pool and he admitted that four of the six traps were his.

He had also admitted to catching 34 cherabin in the traps over three separate occasions.

He was fined $1,200 for using the illegal gear, an additional $102 in a mandatory penalty and court costs of $190.85.

Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Peter Hurst said the large find was a significant reminder for recreational fishers in the Kimberley that the use of fish traps was illegal.

“The use of fish traps is widely banned in State Waters, due to the potential impacts on aquatic life,” Mr Hurst said.

“Illegal recreational fish traps can be indiscriminate, because they may trap animals as well as fish and crabs.

“Animals particularly at risk are those who need to return to the surface to breathe, including mammals, reptiles and birds, as they are unable to escape the traps and quickly drown.”

Call FishWatch on 1800 815 507 to report any suspected illegal fishing activity.

Information on rules and limits is available in the Recreational fishing guide, which can be viewed or downloaded at

Last modified: 17/11/2017 3:13 PM

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