Two fined for illegal marron catches

Strict rules govern the fishing of marron, including the season's duration, to ensure they remain sustainable. Penalties apply for those who break the rules.
Strict rules govern the fishing of marron, including the season's duration, to ensure they remain sustainable. Penalties apply for those who break the rules.

Two people have been fined in the Collie Magistrates Court for illegally catching marron out of season.

Ryan Alex Melling, 32, appeared in court via videolink to plead guilty to catching 40 marron with traps on November 3.

A Department of Fisheries representative told the court Melling had been camping along the Collie River and had set four illegal traps in the river.

When Fisheries officers pulled in the traps approximately 9.50pm that night, they contained 40 marron which were released back into the river.

The court heard marron traps are illegal to use in WA due to their environmental effect.

In WA marron fishers are only allowed to use either six drop nets, one scoop net or one bushman’s pole snare at a time.

Some waters, including the Wellington, Glen Mervyn and Harvey dams are limited to just snares. Melling was handed a $1500 fine for the offence, as well as a further $40 fine each of the marron caught, totalling $2000.

Samantha Leigh Wright, 36, was also fined after being caught by police with two out-of-season marron.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Greg Ward told the court Wright had been stopped by police on Elouera Street for another matter at 9.50pm on December 13.

He said Wright had told police she had been fishing near Hamilton Bridge and a search of her vehicle found a scoop net and a hessian bag containing two marron.

Sergeant Ward said both marron, which were above the legal minimum size limit, were both alive and able to be returned to the water.

Wright, who didn’t appear in court and was convicted in her absence, admitted to police at the time that she was aware it wasn’t marron season.

Magistrate Greg Smith decided to impose an $800 fine for the charge of possessing marron during the closed season, as well as an extra $50 fine for both marron.

Marron season began at noon on January 8 and will continue until noon on February 5.