'I almost threw up in my mouth': Disgust at rubbish and mutilated fish
RIVER lovers and keen recreational fishers Shannon Striebel and Jessee Hobden were left with a sour taste in their mouths on their last trip to the Mary River.
Visiting their favourite fishing spot at the weir just up from Kidd Bridge, the pair were disgusted to find huge piles of abandoned rubbish and a number of mutilated fish on the banks.
"I've never seen so much rubbish in my life," Ms Striebel said.
She said it looked like a group of campers had left everything behind but the tents.
Empty bottles, take-away wrappers, fold-up chairs, food and cigarette packets littered the bank, Ms Striebel said.
But the most offending dumping to Ms Striebel was the numerous fish, half-skinned, cut and left for dead at the water's edge.
"The smell was so overwhelming I almost threw up in my mouth," she said.
The mutilated fish were maggot infested by the time she found them, but did not look like they had been used for bait given the way they were 'toyed with' and surrounded by empty bait packets.
"It was a horrible mess - all I can see in that disaster is animal cruelty written all over it.
"Whoever was responsible didn't catch them for food or bait, they were caught and left to die on the bank."
A relative new-comer to Gympie, Ms Striebel has fallen for the beauty of the river, where her and her partner often fish and release their catches of cat fish back in the water.
While she generally finds the state of the banks clean she is urging the public to look after the popular swimming and fishing area.
"It's sad to come to such a beautiful place to see how humans don't take care of it or respect it," she said.
"Pick up your rubbish so it doesn't endanger our fish life and the quality of our river."
On investigation The Gympie Times found an esky, gazebo frame and food and drink rubbish also abandoned at 'The Sands' this morning.
Leaving abandoned rubbish is an offence and fines may apply.