Cape Town.071115.GOTCHA! Mark van Coller makes the most of the first day of crayfish season as he checks out his catch in the kelpheads off Kommetjie. Picture:Sophia Stander Reporter:Cape Times

Cape Town -

Recreational fishermen along the West Coast have welcomed the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the new recreational fishing season for West Coast rock lobster.

The department announced that the season would open on Thursday and close on April 1 next year.

Cary Steele-Boe, chairperson of the Recreational Fishing Services, said the body had been involved in consultations with the department and was happy that most of its suggestions had been adhered to.

He said although the season had been shortened by 10 days (from 67 to 57), Recreational Fishing Services was happy that recreational fishermen would be allowed to fish every day for two weeks at the end of December.

“That is the season where we have a lot of tourists in the West Coast, so we are very happy that our visitors will be able to fish,” he said.

The following conditions for the West Coast rock lobster recreational fishing season will apply:

* From November 15 to 18, fishing will be allowed every day.

* From November 19 to December 14, fishing will only be allowed on weekends.

* From December 15 to 31, fishing will be allowed every day.

* From January 1 to April 1, 2013, fishing will be allowed on weekends and on public holidays.

The department also specified that the bag limit had been set at four West Coast rock lobsters per person per day and the size restriction was 80mm carapace length.

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Cape Argus