Rains wash away easter prawn catch

UNLESS by some miracle the sea falls calm over the next few days, fresh prawns could be off the menu for Easter.

Manager of the Clarence River Fishermen's Co-Operative Russell Creighton said last week's floods flushed most of the prawns out to sea and since the conditions have been too rough, trawlers haven't been able to get out there to catch them.

“The outside guys are having a real rough time with the weather,” Mr Creighton said.

As the swell eased back a little yesterday two trawlers headed outside in the morning in search of king prawns and schoolies, but Mr Creighton said the weather forecast wasn't looking too good for more boats to join them.

“We're sweating on them being able to go out actually,” he said.

With strong southerlies forecast today, Mr Creighton said it looked like Easter prawns could be far and few between this year.

“The weather's not helping us for Easter,” he said.

But on a positive note, river fishing was going well.

“The floods haven't affected the river too badly,” Mr Creighton said.

“There's a nice lot of bream, flathead and mullet coming in at the moment.”

The river trawlers have been pulling in small catches of school prawns but nothing like the amount the co-op would have liked to have had in stock for the Easter holidays.

The NSW opposition spokesperson for Industry Duncan Gay toured the Clarence River's fishing centres yesterday and met with the co-op to discuss issues affecting the fishing industry.

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