Giant perch catch: Hauls after big Darling kills, say fisheries team

Fish alleged to be taken illegally from the Darling River were seized, along with nets and a boat.

Fish alleged to be taken illegally from the Darling River were seized, along with nets and a boat.

A POMONA man has been charged with taking and illegally selling 12 tonnes of golden perch worth $200,000 from the Darling River – including after the fish kills of December and January that decimated populations of the native species.

NSW DPI fisheries compliance ­director Patrick Tully yesterday said the charges were a culmination of ­Operation Weelsby, a 20-month ­invest­­igation involving NSW, Victoria and South Australian officials.

It will be alleged some of the commercial activity took place after the fish kills, which were over a 40km stretch of the lower Darling River near Menindee, however the offending was allegedly over more than 600km of the river, ­including outside the lower Darling.

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