Man Reels in Saltwater Crocodile While Night Fishing

October 22, 2020 Updated: October 22, 2020

A Queensland fisherman captured a 1.7 metre (5.5 foot) saltwater crocodile at a North Queensland dam, sparking an investigation by Queensland wildlife officers.

The man was night-fishing on Saturday at Peter Faust Dam, 26 kilometres (16 miles) inland from Proserpine in the Whitsunday region.

“He saw what he thought was a crocodile’s eyes shining and moved his boat closer,” a Department of Environment and Science (DES) spokesman said on Thursday.

After confirming there was a crocodile, he captured and restrained the animal and took it home. He later called DES so that a wildlife officer could retrieve the animal.

Epoch Times Photo
A 3.8 m male estuarine crocodile slips back into the water after a satellite transmitter was attached to monitor its behavioural movements. (Australia Zoo)

Wildlife officers took the 1.7 metre estuarine crocodile to a zoo, with rangers warning it was capable of inflicting serious injuries, particularly when it is feeling threatened.

“We don’t want people taking matters into their own hands when they see an estuarine crocodile,” the DES spokesperson said.

“A crocodile of that size … would do great damage to someone’s arm or leg,” he said.

DES also reminded the public that it’s an offence to deliberately interfere with, harm or kill a crocodile, carrying a maximum penalty of $30,026 (about US$21,000).

Saltwater or estuarine crocodiles can be found in a wide range of habitats, including rivers, estuaries, creeks, swamps, lagoons and billabongs.

They can tolerate freshwater to full-strength seawater, and have even been recorded in water twice as saline as the ocean.

Physical barriers such as escarpments and other types of rapidly rising ground generally limit the animal’s upstream movement.

The waters in the north of Queensland around Proserpine/Airlie Beach region are considered crocodile country and people in the area are consistently reminded to be crocwise.

The DES reminds people in the region that they should always expect crocodiles to be in waterways including the ocean and supervise children near the water.

Australia’s “Croc Country” (considered to be typical crocodile habitat) stretches from Boyne River south of Gladstone, up the east coast and across Far North Queensland.

Follow Caden on Twitter: @cadenpearson