Fishers reminded to release Queensland grouper

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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A juvenile Queensland Grouper caught at Point Samson recently.
Camera IconA juvenile Queensland Grouper caught at Point Samson recently. Credit: Pilbara News

Several Queensland grouper catches in recent weeks have prompted authorities to remind anglers they must know how to ID their catch, as the species cannot be kept.

There have been reports of juvenile grouper being caught around Point Samson and Cossack recently.

One angler said some people he had seen were not aware they had caught a Queensland grouper, leading them to not return it to the water.

DoF northern community education officer Jessamy Ham said Queensland grouper were a totally protected species so must be returned to the water as soon as possible if caught.

“The juvenile phase is associated with near-shore environments; rivers, creeks and estuarine habitats. As adults they occupy a variety of reef and near-shore areas,” she said.

“(If caught) release back into the water as soon as possible.

“When pulling the fish into the boat use a net, and protect the underside of the fish.

Ms Ham said the hook and line should be removed as fast as possible and the fish released gently into the water, not thrown.

Adults can be distinguished by their dark blue complexion with mottled black spots, while juveniles have yellow spotted fins with a mottled brown and white body and small black dots.

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