Baffle Creek remains closed to commercial fishers
RUMOURS beam trawlers have been granted access to the Baffle Creek following the announcement of a government trial to allow flood-affected commercial fishers to fish additional areas have been quashed.
Residents of communities north and south of Baffle Creek were believed to have been worried the Baffle Creek would be open to trawlers for the first time in more than 10 years.
But a spokeswoman for the Minister for Fisheries John McVeigh said the trial area announced in May, which outlined the new fishing area within the General Use Zones of the Great Sandy Marine Park between the northern bank of the Burnett River and the northern boundary at Rules Beach, did not extend to Baffle Creek.
"Baffle Creek is still closed to beam trawlers," the spokeswoman confirmed.
"The new areas refer to General Use Zones north of the Burnett River to Rules Beach but does not include any additional creeks or rivers closed by any section of government legislation."
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett also confirmed the special permits granted to beam trawlers did not give permission to trawl in the Baffle Creek.
"Anyone caught doing so faces significant penalties," he said.
Baffle Retreat Bed and Breakfast owner Gary Kirk had serious doubts about the rumours and said the news came as no surprise.
"Trawling was banned in the Baffle more than a decade ago and I would have been gobsmacked if any government would have tampered with the unique ecosystem of the Baffle Creek," he said.
"The Baffle is a hugely significant pristine water system filled with bird and marine species.
"With very few farms bordering the Baffle it's even more pristine with no agricultural sediment."
Mr Kirk said the communities living near the Baffle Creek were very protective of the river system.
"The people that live here do so because they love this environment," he said.
"Much of the Baffle Creek borders national parks and there are some really respected residents who are highly regarded because of their knowledge of this area.
"People here are very protective of the Baffle and they want it to remain the way it is."