Opera house nets will be banned from all Victorian waters from July 2019

KALVIN Robinson, president of both the Wimmera Anglers Association and Horsham Angling Club, said the new law to ban opera house nets is welcomed by the fishing community. 

The state government announced on Monday opera house nets are banned from public and private waters across Victoria as of July 1, 2019. 

Mr Robinson said the ban will come at no loss to recreational anglers. 

“An opera house is essentially a fish trap, they get everything,” he said. 

Opera house nets can only be used in private inland waters such as farm dams where there is a three-net maximum. 

The opera house nets will be replaced by open top lift nets. 

Mr Robinson said the open top lift nets gives native fish and yabbies a chance to escape. 

“This will also make things a bit more sustainable. It’s not hard to reach your quota of yabbies with an opera house net,” he said. 

The possession limit in, on or next to Victorian waters for yabbies is 150 whole yabbies.

Mr Robinson said with an opera house net, if left over night, one net could catch roughly 160 yabbies whereas an open top lift net would be lucky to catch 30 whole yabbies. 

“If the yabbies are plentiful in the area you would get that no dramas,” he said. 

“Opera houses are not for recreational fishing. From my point of view this ban is the best thing that has happened for recreational fishing.” 

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said the move aimed to benefit native animals such as platypus and turtles.

“Opera house nets have been placing our platypus population at risk,” she said.