Ask a Ranger – why is fishing banned in the Park?

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

do not eat fish.jpg

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.

ni fishing.jpg

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.

Plant collection

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.


Manager Green Ranger Team, Sydney Olympic Park Authority

Posted in Uncategorized
7 comments on “Ask a Ranger – why is fishing banned in the Park?
  1. Adam says:

    At least once a week people fish down the front near newington public school ignoring the signs.

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Adam

      Thanks for your feedback!

      We’re always doing as much as we can to warn our visitors of the dangers of fishing here in the Park but sometimes it’s hard to catch everyone. If you do see someone fishing in the Park please give our Rangers a call on 9714 7700 and we’ll try get someone there asap to sort it out!

  2. John Goodridge says:

    There is always people fishing behind newington public school. Also on another note there is an increasing number of domestic cats on the loose in the nature cat and dog free area. Starting from the far end of newington near the M4 mainly behind the units. I saw 4 during an evening / night walk last week.

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Brad

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

      We monitor Haslams Creek regularly but unfortunately it can be difficult to catch everyone who to tries to fish in the creek as well as all the domestic pets that are in areas they shouldn’t be in. If you do see someone fishing in the Park or domestic pets around, please give our Rangers a call on 9714 7700 and we’ll try get someone there asap to sort it out!

  3. Luisa says:

    Thank you John for this very important information.

  4. Warwick Georgeson says:

    People often fish in Haslams Creek from the Mariners Cove apartments foreshore, just north of the Haslams Creek bridge on Bennelong Parkway. Is this location covered by the Rangers even though it is private property?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Find us on
%d bloggers like this: