Redbank Plains resident, Jesse Harrison, is defending his decision to fish at Springfield's Spring Lake and said he is helping native fish in the lake by removing pest fish.
Redbank Plains resident, Jesse Harrison, is defending his decision to fish at Springfield's Spring Lake and said he is helping native fish in the lake by removing pest fish. Myjanne Jensen

Angler reveals reason for ignoring 'no fishing' signs

IT'S been a matter of much contention for the Springfield Lakes community and one fisherman is speaking out about the environmental service that he is doing.

While not actually illegal, fishing at Spring Lake is not encouraged and is frowned upon by many people in the community.

Redbank Plains resident Jesse Harrison said he fished in the lake because he was trying to help keep invasive pest species under control.

"I mainly fish here to clear out the waters of pest fish like Tilapia and Carp," Mr Harrison said.

"The pest fish are eating all the native plants and destroying all the wildlife in the water," Mr Harrison said.

"By them doing that they make the water go all muddy and what people don't realise is that we're not here to take the good stuff home, we're here to clean everything out."

Spring Lake has been the site of reports of dead fish guts and material left behind on the boardwalk and surrounds by fishermen, causing residents to complain to the Ipswich City Council.

Mr Harrison said that kind of behaviour was disgusting and it was unfortunate that a small group of people were ruining it for the majority who fished at the lake.

"I can understand why people get upset because there are native fish in the lake, but nine times out of ten the fishermen that do come down here release the native fish back into the water," Mr Harrison said.

"There's a Facebook page dedicated to people fishing out Tilapia and Carp from different areas.

"I always clean up my fish and dispose of the remains in the proper way. What you're supposed to do is kill them and either bag them and bin them before you leave or bury them above the high flood water so that other animals can't get them.

"I think it's just wrong those people who don't dispose of the fish properly and you can understand why it makes people angry."

Ipswich City Council confirmed last week that while it could not enforce "no fishing" signs at Springfield Lakes, said it was considering whether certain parts should be opened for fishing.

Councillor David Morrison said while the Council was not responsible for the physical maintenance of the area, including water quality, it would investigate what role it could play in protecting the lake for the benefit of all users.

He said this could include allowing people to fish in restricted areas.

"Ipswich City Council cannot enforce those signs but we are going to have a talk with all councillors involved as well as senior managers in the regulatory area to discuss whether or not fishing should be banned or if there should be areas where people can fish," Cr Morrison said.

The lake was originally stocked with native fish for the purpose of creating a biological balance in the water.

Anyone leaving fish entrails around the lake can be prosecuted for littering and it is also illegal to return Tilapia to the lake after being caught.


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