Category: History

Results of an Unbiased Fishing Survey – 1966

1966 September

RESULTS of an UNBIASED FISHING SURVEY

An article by a very old friend of mine, Bill Barada, is based on the findings of a survey on the “Sport Fish Catch and Effort” made by the Resources Agency of the Department of Fish and Game of California. This comprehensive report by Daniel J. Miller and Daniel Gotshall, took four years to compile and concerned nineteen employees of the Department directly assigned to field duties on the project, apart from scores of persons acting in honorary capacities. This 135 page report, which I have read carefully, completely dispels any theory that skindivers could be held responsible for any overall depletion of fish stocks in the U.S.A. and there is nothing to suggest it would be otherwise in Australia.

Of all sport fishermen, anglers fishing from piers, jetties, etc., captured 1,034,000 fish representing 32.1% of the total sport catch. Shore fishermen, angling from beach, rock and estuary, contributed 31.9% of the total, while anglers operating from charter boats caught 24.9% and from small craft 10.5%. Skindivers or spearfishing, with all its so called efficiency, accounted for 0.7% of the total sports fish taken.

George Davies

From: Australian Skindivers Magazine September 1966 page 13.

Spearfishing Competitions – 1976

SPEARFISHING COMPETITIONS

Dear Sir

I am the unrepentant hunter of fish, and manufacture equipment to hunt fish. I think most groups of spearfishermen ensure that their catch is eaten, that ecological principles are observed, and their sport is correctly enjoyed. Of prime importance is that the young are maturely guided – there is no generation gap between underwater buddies… (Let’s use the Australian term – mates).

Spearfishing clubs have to be commended for their work in education. Such indoctrination can only be done through clubs, and if over restrictive measures are taken they will not be followed, but broken in a regrettable manner.

The sport of spearfishing has saved many lives. Men have learned to obtain food and in emergency have learned to cope with tempestuous conditions to save their personal lives and the lives of others – in many cases to cooperate with authorities to retrieve bodies. There are quite a number of awards for bravery given to the risk of life.

The sport demands the utmost physical challenge and it has particular appeal to the adventurous young who are willing to be guided in balanced conservation by the leaders of their sport – but without the willing guidance of such sportsmen they would be rebellious!

When one considers the millions of tons of fish taken commercially, and compare this factor to the catch of spearfishermen in the occasional shallows which allows their sport, it seems the conservationists are using the sport of spearfishing as a target for the promotion of that cause, or their personal advocacy – rather than to achieve effective measures of fish preservation.

Yours faithfully

Don Linklater
Managing Director
Undersee Products Pty Ltd

From: Skindiving News from the Metropolitan Zone    Vol. 2 No 7 Jan 1976 Pg. 4

The Underwater Spearfishermans Association N.S.W. First Annual Picnic

SUNDAY 21 ST NOVEMBER, 1948

To be held at
Malabar Beach.

Events for the day Starting at 11.a.m.

No. 1 First Fish.
No. 2 Breath Holding Contest
No. 3 Underwater Target Shoot.

Lunch Adjournment

No. 4 Two hour Fishing Contest, for the greatest weight of Fish (other than Sharks and Sting Rays).

Prizes

1. For the Best Fish of the Day.
2. Largest Fish.
3. Best Bream.
4. Best Black Fish.
5. Best Groper.

Summary of fishing laws for the information of speargun fishermen operating on ocean beaches and saltwater streams of New South Wales

1959 1st December

SUMMARY OF FISHING LAWS FOR THE INFORMATION OF SPEARGUN FISHERMEN OPERATING ON OCEAN BEACHES AND SALTWATER STREAMS OF NEW SOUTH WALES

The following is a digest of the provisions of the New South Wales Fisheries laws as they apply to speargun fishermen operating in the tidal waters of New South Wales. Tidal waters are all streams affected by tidal influence and also include ocean beaches, coastal saltwater lakes, lagoons and ponds. The use of spears, spearguns and similar devices for the capture of fish is totally prohibited in inland waters.

Licences:

Persons taking fish by means of spears, spearguns or similar devices are not required to hold a licence.

Bag Limit:

There is no bag limit in respect of fish taken in saltwater except bass and all species of groper, but speargun fishermen are requested to avoid waste by ceasing to fish when they have obtained sufficient fish to satisfy their own requirements.

With bass, there is a bag limit of ten (10) fish per person per day but, as their capture is limited to a rod and line or handline with not more than two hooks attached, they cannot be legally captured by a speargun. The bag limit with groper of any species is not more than two (2) fish per person per day.

Sale of Fish:

Speargun fishermen are permitted to take fish for their own consumption and under no circumstances are they permitted to sell their catch.

Undersize Fish:

It is an offence to retain or be in possession of undersize fish. The minimum legal length of fishes appears hereunder:-

Bass (Estuary Perch)…………………………..11 ins.
Blackfish, Rock…………………………………9 ins.
Bream (Black Bream)…………………………10 ins.
Cod, Black Rock………………………………13 ins.
Cod, Red Rock…………………………………9 ins.
Flathead, Common or Dusky………………14 ins.
Flathead, Long Spined (Spiky)……………9 ins.
Flathead, Sand…………………………………13 ins.
Flathead, Tiger…………………………………13 ins.
Flounder, Large-toothed……………………9 ins.
Flounder, Small-toothed……………………9 ins.
Flounder, Long-snouted……………………8 ins.
Garfish, River…………………………………8.5 ins
Garfish, Sea…………………………………10 ins.
Garfish, Short-beaked………………………9 ins.
Groper, Blue…………………………………12 ins.
Groper, Red or Brown………………………12 ins.
Gurnard, Kumu (Red)……………………8 ins.
Gurnard, Sharp-beaked……………………9 ins.
Kingfish, Yellow-tail (Kingfish)……………14 ins.
Leatherjacket (Butterfish)…………………7 ins.
Long Tom, Slender…………………………12 ins.
Long Tom, Stout……………………………12 ins.
Luderick (Blackfish)………………………10 ins.
Mackerel, Common………………………6 ins.
Mackerel, Horse……………………………9 ins.
Morwong……………………………………11 ins.
Morwong, Red or Sea Carp………………9 ins.
Mullet, Flat-tail (or Fan-Tail)………………9 ins.
Mullet, Sand……………………………………9 ins.
Mullet, Sea……………………………………13 ins.
Mullet, Silver (Silver Flat)……………………  8 ins.
Mullet, Yellow-eye……………………………..  9 ins.
Mulloway (Jewfish)……………………………18 ins.
Pike, Long-finned……………………………9 ins.
Pike, Short-finned or Snoek……………….  9 ins.
Redfish (Nannygai)……………………………11 ins.
Sergeant Baker…………………………………..10 ins.
Salmon, Australian……………………………..  9 ins.
Shark, School or Snapper……………………26 ins.
Snapper ( including “Cockneys”,
Sole, Black………………………… 8 ins.
Tailor……………………………………………12 ins.
Tarwhine………………………………………9 ins.
Teraglin………………………………………15 ins.
Trevally………………………………………11 ins.
Whiting, sand or Silver……………………11 ins.
Whiting, School (Red spotted)……………8 ins.
Whiting, Spotted……………………………9.5 ins.
Whiting, Trumpeter…………………………8 ins.
Crayfish , Common…………………………10 ins.
Crayfish, Southern…………………………10 ins.

Note:

All fish are measured overall from the point of the snout to the end of the tail.
Crayfish along the body from the rostrum ( beak) to the tip of the tail.

Crayfish:

It is an offence to take or be in possession of any female crayfish which is carrying ova externally or any soft-shelled crayfish.

Oysters:

Oysters on any area which has been leased to an oyster farmer are, of course, his property and to interfere or remove them without his authority is an offence. However, on Crown Lands not so leased, or on any public oyster reserve, anyone can consume oysters on the spot. The public are warned that it is an offence to remove oysters (wether open or in the shell) from any public oyster reserve or any Crown Lands. Private oyster leases and public reserves are clearly marked with signs at each end.
In addition for public health reasons, consumption of oysters obtained from Cook’s River and certain portions of Sydney and Newcastle Harbours has been totally prohibited.

Red Bream and Squire…………………….11 ins.

CLOSURES – GENERAL

All closures of waters set out in the list hereunder should be construed as qualified by the following general prohibitions –

Total Prohibitions:

The capture of fish by the following methods is totally prohibited –

(a) Firearms or explosives.

(b) Stroke haul or snatch or any instrument or device used for the foul hooking of

(c) Spears aided by lights.

In addition, the use of spears, spearguns and similar devices for the taking of fish is totally prohibited in inland waters (i.e. waters above tidal influence) and in the whole of the waters within territorial limits on the whole of the ocean beaches of New South Wales exclusive.

Prohibition against the capture of certain species of fish:

The capture of the following species of fish by spearguns, etc. is totally prohibited:-

(a) Crayfish

(b) Bass (Australian bass, Estuary Perch or Eastern freshwater perch).

(c) Butterfly cod and Double headers in Lord Howe Island Waters.

(d) School sharks during month of November only.

Closures:

The following areas (in alphabetical order) are closed to the capture of fish by means of spears, spearguns and similar devices:-

BELLINGER RIVER – The whole of the waters of that part of Bellinger River, including South Lagoon, together with all its inlets, bays and creeks, upwards from a line joining the eastern extremities of the breakwaters to a line joining the north-western corner of Oyster Farm No.

45.388 and the south-eastern corner of Oyster Farm No. 40.124 and upwards in the North Arm of the river to a line joining the north-western corner of Oyster Farm No. 46.100 and the most northerly point of the northern training wall.

BERRINGER LAKE – See Conjola Lake.

BOAMBEE CREEK – From Railway bridge seawards to the South Pacific Ocean.

BONVILLE CREEK – Its inlets, creeks and channels seawards to the South Pacific Ocean from

Oyster Lease No. 50.159

BRISBANE WATER – Whole of the waters and its tributaries north of a line drawn from Box Head to Green Point.

fish.

BURRIL LAKE – Whole of the waters of that part of the entrance to Burrill Lake and affluants from a line drawn from Oyster Lease No. 54.126 at Thistleton’s Point to Oyster Farm No.

54.289 downstream to the South Pacific Ocean.

CLYDE RIVER – From causeway at Shallow Crossing upwards to its source.

CONJOLA LAKE AND BERRINGER LAKE – Whole of the tidal waters of Berringer Lake and that part of Conjola Lake and affluants from its entrance upwards to a line drawn from Roberts Point to the eastern boundary of the public oyster reserve proclaimed 14th December, 1916.

COOKS RIVER – Whole of the waters of Cooks River, its creeks and tributaries upwards to its source from its confluence with Botany Bay.

CUDGARA CREEK – The whole of the waters of Cudgara Creek together with its inlets, bays and tributaries from its source downwards to the South Pacific Ocean.

CUDGEE CREEK – The whole of the waters of that part of Cudgee Creek north of the traffic bridge at Kingscliffe.

DUCK RIVER – Its creeks and tributaries upwards to its source from its junction with the Parramatta River.

HASTINGS RIVER – Whole of the waters of that part of Hastings River, its inlets, bays, creeks and tributaries including the whole of the waters of Kooloonbung Creek within the following boundaries; commencing at the eastern extremity of the northern breakwater and bounded thence by the northern breakwater westerly, by the training wall westerly and northerly to the P.W.D. Coal wharf, by a line south-westerly to the northern prolongation of the eastern side of Park Street, by the southern foreshores of Hastings River south-easterly, by the foreshores of Kooloonbung Creek, again by the southern foreshores of Hastings River, easterly to the training wall, by the training wall and the southern breakwater to its eastern extremity and thence by a line to the point of commencement; and also the whole of the waters of Lake Innes, Cathie Creek and Cathie Lake, its creeks and tributaries.

HAWKESBURY RIVER and NEPEAN RIVER – together with all their creeks, inlets and tributaries, downwards from the junction of Nepean and Cataract Rivers to the junction of South Creek, approximately one mile below the town of Windsor.

HUNTER, WILLIAMS and PATTERSON RIVERS – Whole of the waters of the Williams River together with all its creeks, inlets and tributaries and the whole of the waters of that part of the Hunter River together with all its creeks, inlets and tributaries (including Patterson River) upwards to its source from its junction with the Williams River at Raymond Terrace.

KARUAH RIVER – And its tributaries extending from the falls situated approximately ¼ mile above the old Booral Wharf upwards to its source.

MACQUARIE RIVULET – Whole of the waters upwards from Lake Illawarra to its source.

MANLY COVE – Whole of the waters of Manly Cove (including Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company’s Swimming Pool) bounded by a line from the end of Manly Wharf 280 Deg. to the western shore of Manly Cove.

MINNAMURRA RIVER – And its tributaries downwards to the ocean from the Princess Highway traffic bridge.

NARRABEEN LAKES – And its tributaries, including Deep Creek, Middle Creek, South Creek and Mullet Creek, together with all their affluents and tributaries.

NAMBUCCA RIVER – Entrance waters upwards to a line drawn south-easterly from Oyster Farm No. 44.21 through the southern extremity of the northern training wall to the opposite bank.

NEPEAN RIVER – Within ¼ mile on each side of the weir at Penrith and within 100 yards upstream and ¼ mile downstream from the weir at Wallacia.

PORT HACKING – And its tributaries westward of a line drawn from Glaisher Point to Port Hacking Point.

RICHMOND RIVER – Whole of the waters from the eastern extremity of the northern breakwater and bounded thence by that breakwater and the training wall north-westerly to Missingham bridge; by that bridge to its western extremity; by a line bearing 163 degrees 30 minutes to the M.S.B. navigation marker; by the southern training wall and the breakwater north-easterly and easterly to the southern breakwater and then to the point of commencement.

SUSSEX INLET – Whole of the waters of Sussex Inlet from its entrance to the South Pacific Ocean upwards to its junction with St. Georges Basin, and that part of St. Georges Basin (or Jewfish Bay) south-westerly of a line drawn south-south-easterly from Kangaroo Point to a point marked broad-arrow over F.D. on the southern shore of the Basin, situated about 1 mile from a post at the junction of the southern shore of the Basin with the eastern shore of Sussex Inlet.

THROSBY CREEK (HUNTER RIVER) – Its bays, creeks and inlets lying northerly and westerly from the tramway and general traffic bridge across that creek leading from Wickham to Carrington.

TOM THUMB LAGOON – Whole of the waters west of a line drawn south-easterly from the tower at the sanitary depot to the shelter on the training wall.

TWEED RIVER – All entrance waters situated north of Ukerebagh Island, including the western or back channel and that portion of Boyd’s Bay on the eastern side of the bridge.

WALLIS LAKE – That portion of the entrance upwards from a line drawn between the eastern extremities of the northern and southern breakwaters to a line drawn from Oyster Farm No. 39.108 on Flat Island southerly to Oyster Farm No. 47.246 on Godwin Island thence north-easterly to Portion 27 of the Village of Forster.

A. G. KINGSMILL

Under Secretary,

Chief Secretary’s Department

1.12.59

A major marine disturbance

1948 9th October

Yesterday’s piece about the feud between Manly’s rod fishermen and fish – spearers reveals much more than a mere ruffle on the angling waters. The feud shows signs of developing into a major marine disturbance.

The Amateur Fishermen’s Association has already hooked spearmen out of Tuggerah Lakes, Port Hacking and Wallis Lake, near Forster; now seeks to cast a wide and fine – meshed net to drag them out of metropolitan waters.

Neither side has much hope that a compromise plan – no spearing within 50 yards of an angler – will work out.

The anglers reckon that even at 50 yards the spearmen will scare the fish off. And that doesn’t take into account the apoplexy that the mere sight of a spearman tends to engender in their normally placid bloodstreams.

Each force has closed its ranks. Spearmen are busy organising themselves to stave off threats to their freedom; lobbyists from both camps are already employed trying to manoeuvre the political machinery their way. Trouble is there’s no provision for or against spearing in the Acts governing methods of fish capture.

Hasn’t been so much tension in Izaak Walton’s business since the introduction of the barbed hook.

From: The Sun 9/10/1948

Spearing is winter sport for surf men

1946 1st July

SPEARING FISH IS WINTER SPORT FOR SURF MEN

Fish – spearing is the latest craze among Coogee Surf Club members.
Even these cold mornings young Don Millar is in and under the water at daybreak, spearing fish for breakfast.

Millar yesterday was proclaimed champion of Coogee Surf club when he speared three fish (two morwong and a sergeant baker) in almost as many minutes.

1946 Spearing Fish is Winter Sport.Armed with spear gun, goggles and a lead belt that takes him to the sea bed, Millar always gets a catch.
He lies on the bottom to catch flathead and sergeant baker, and swims about to spear morwong and blackfish.
He dives from the rocks and swims out to about 25 feet of water.
He is not worried about sharks as he thinks they go to warmer water in the winter.

KNEW HIS FISH
Millar is getting to know his fish.
Every morning a 40 lb. drummer watches him at work.
Millar never takes a shot at him, as he is too strong and might swim off with his spear.
“Morwong and blackfish are the most curious fish”, said Millar.
“They will sit and take a look and will often swim up to me to see what is going on”.
Millar says under – water swimming gives him wonderful breath – control which he thinks will improve his swimming next season.
The spear gun is made of wood with brass fittings. It carries a long stainless unattached steel spear.
The spear is launched by a thick elastic band fired by a trigger.

From: Sydney Sun 6/7/46

Pioneer Spearman – The story of Jim Linquist

PIONEER SPEARMAN
This is the story of Jim Linquist By Ron Cox

When the war finished in 1945, Jim Linquist returned from the Islands to his home town of Cudgen, situated near the borders of Queensland and New South Wales. With his return he brought back a vast knowledge on the art of spearfishing.

Jim LinquistJim’s fondness for the rocky foreshores of the Cudgen Creek made him realise that, by the clarity of the water and the knowledge he had gained in the Islands, it was apparent the waters around his home town must contain fish worthy of spearing. The idea did not remain dormant and, in a short space of time, a very hurriedly – made set of equipment was forthcoming.

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