Katherine wildlife rangers caught a 4.7m saltwater crocodile this week – the biggest ever caught in the Katherine River
His presence is a good reminder to Be Crocwise at all times when we are near the water.
At any time of the year, our river looks inviting.
Crystal clear rapids rush down into limpid pools.
Water lily flowers line pandanus fringed banks and Rainbow Bee eaters keep a beady eye on the busy traffic of water beetles and winged bugs coming in for a drink.
While it is easy to get distracted it is important that you always remember that we are not the only ones enjoying the view.
Saltwater crocodiles are found in both fresh and salt water and live in the Katherine, Flora, King and Daly river systems year round.
Crocodile management tools such as traps, spotlighting, surveys and floats are used throughout the dry season to minimise croc numbers in the Katherine River near town.
The fact that we pulled a large saltie out of a trap last week shows that even with our best efforts crocs move into this area year round.
The fact that we pulled a large saltie out of a trap last week shows that even with our best efforts crocs move into this area year round.Ranger Clare Pearce
Crocodiles can move around undetected through popular riverside locations and into our river systems all year. We must stay vigilant and think about how we behave when we are around the water.
Only swim where there is a sign that says that you are in a designated swimming area.
Well known parts of the Katherine River such as Knott’s Crossing, the High Level Bridge, the Low Level, Crystal Rapids and Galloping Jacks are not designated swimming areas.
It is not safe to enter the water in these locations.
Keep five metres away from the water’s edge while fishing, and 50 metres when camping.
Crocs can launch themselves out of the water to snag prey and have even been known to investigate campsites at night if they smell something interesting.
Stay alert when launching boats; it is easy to get distracted with so much going on.
Never reach into the water to remove or release your fish, always use a net or a gaff. Clean your fish a long way from the water and bury fishing rubbish or take the whole fish home.
Please remember, take a photo, not the plunge, when enjoying your time on the river.
Stay safe this dry season. Remember, always Be Crocwise.