Be aware of platypus in waterways

COUNCIL is urging people to consider the safety of native platypus populations when fishing in local rivers.

Council’s Senior Ranger Darryl Farmer was called to Riverside Park, Porepunkah, on Saturday, 24 March to find a platypus tangled in fishing line in the Ovens River.

“Unfortunately the platypus drowned when it became tangled in the fishing line and was unable to free itself,” he said.

“This is a timely reminder that anyone enjoying our rivers as a fishing spot needs to ensure they consider the safety of our wildlife when they leave.

“Untangle and remove any fishing line or hooks and make sure no rubbish is left behind, particularly items such as plastic bags and the rings from six packs.

“This rubbish can cause great harm not only to platypus but other river life.

“Also, people should not be fishing in swimming holes, as it poses a risk to anyone else in the water.”

According to the Australian Platypus Conservancy, this time of the year sees young platypus venturing from their burrows for the first time and learning to fend for themselves.

Mr Farmer said the use of illegal fishing nets could also have fatal consequences for the animals.

“The use of opera house nets in rivers is illegal – if a platypus enters them they have no way to escape and subsequently drown,” he said.

“Anyone fishing in any body of water needs to make sure they are obeying the law – opera house nets may only be used in private bodies of water such as dams.”

For more information visit the Australian Platypus Conservancy online at www.platypus.asn.au.


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