Fisherman hoping for bumper season

A BIT of colour in the Clarence River has fishermen hoping for a bumper opening to trawling in Lake Wooloweyah next Tuesday.

Clarence River Fishermen's Cooperative general manager Danielle Adams said old hands in the industry had told her the moon phase would be ideal, so they would be gearing up for a solid start.

She said there had been no trial runs, but fishermen were hopeful.

"That's the only thing we can do in this industry," she said.

Last year trawler operators had some bumper catches of high quality prawns, but the previous year was a disaster.

Prawns never reached a reasonable size and the industry made several voluntary closures of the river.

They paid researchers to test water and river bed quality, but could not come up with any reason for the small sizes.

Ms Adams said the coop's board had decided last Friday not to pursue an application to set up a marine precinct around the coop's head office in Maclean.

She said the intention had been to establish an area around the coop with perhaps a seafood restaurant or similar marine facilities, but the application had been knocked back by the Clarence Valley Council because it was not in keeping with the local environment plan or the council's heritage vision for the area.

She said the coop would not appeal the decision, but would focus on its core business - selling quality seafood.

"That is where our focus needs to be at the moment," she said.

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