There’s a lot to do in Sydney Olympic Park.
Fishing, however, is not one of those things.
Why, you ask?
One of our rangers, John, explains the ban:
Would you feed weed killer to your family?
All fish west of Sydney Harbour Bridge are exposed to high levels of dioxins, which can cause cancer. Weedkillers and defoliants such as Agent Orange and other poisons were at one time manufactured at Rhodes. Contaminated by-products were dumped in Parramatta River, and used to reclaim land for further industrial use. The pollution from such operations has made fish, crabs and molluscs caught in the Parramatta River unsafe to eat. The poisons will take decades to clear from the mud in the river.
For more information visit Department of Primary Industries
One of the warning signs posted along the Parramatta River
What about our lakes and ponds?
Our lakes and ponds are built mainly on old industrial and waste dump sites. Again, the fish in these water bodies are unfit to eat. Sydney Olympic Park is closed to all types of fishing. It is even an offence to carry fishing gear through the site. Heavy fines apply to discourage people from catching and eating potentially harmful fish.
Wildlife protection is important too
Fishing and nature reserves are incompatible. We regularly find injured or dead water birds with fish hooks embedded in their body, or entangled in fishing line, unable to fly, swim or feed.
One of the many no fishing signs in the Park
Catch and release?
We are often asked if catch-and-release fishing is permitted. The short answer is NO. The Park is a haven for plants and animals which are protected by law.
Like the animals, our plants are also protected – even the weeds! Many of our plant communities are rare examples of the original vegetation in this area – something to preserve for future generations.
Some weeds, when present in large, dense stands, can provide temporary habitat for wildlife such as birds, reptiles and insects. To minimise the impact of habitat removal on native species, these weeds are removed in stages in conjunction with planting of native plants to provide replacement habitat.