WAYNE Pope has seen heaps of interesting stuff during his fishing trips on the Fitzroy, but even he was surprised at what he found when he pulled up his crab pots on Wednesday afternoon.

At one of his favourite spots on Gavial Creek, the Rockhampton man claimed he found himself suddenly in a tug-o-war with 3m crocodile which had got hold of one of his crab pots.

"He just started thrashing about as I pulled it up. I held on until the rope snapped and he swam off with the pot," Mr Pope said.

Mr Pope said the rope holding another pot had been severed as well and he believed the crocodile was responsible.

More alarmingly, Mr Pope said he had spotted the same crocodile (which he believes to be the same one that Bulletin photographer Chris Ison snapped at the barrage earlier this month) a few times this week and had also seen people swimming in the same area.

"I just want to get the word out that the croc is hanging around that area and to take care. I don't want to see anybody get taken."

It would appear the crocodile has been spotted by someone else, as a spokesman for the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) said they received a report from a local fisherman that in the early hours of Saturday (December 22) a 3m crocodile grabbed a crab pot and removed fish which had been placed inside as bait in the Gavial Creek area.

RIVER WANDERER: The 3m crocodile sunning itself at the barrage last month is believed to be the same one targeting crab pots around Gavial Creek.
RIVER WANDERER: The 3m crocodile sunning itself at the barrage last month is believed to be the same one targeting crab pots around Gavial Creek. Chris Ison Rokccroc

"A Wildlife officer visited the area on Saturday morning. Although there was no sign of the crocodile, signs advising that there had been a recent crocodile sighting were erected. These will remain in place until Wednesday, January 2 unless there is a further sighting," the spokesman said.

"Crocodiles can be attracted to crab pots with bait, and fishers are advised to practice croc-wise behaviour."

Further information on crocodiles and being crocwise is available on EHP's website at ehp.qld.gov.au.



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