Deadly monster fish spotted in popular recreational spot
STONEFISH are the world's most dangerous fish and the one pictured was recently found in Elliott Heads, providing a timely reminder to watch your step in murky water and around coral.
Jesse Spence said he was fishing on Tuesday when he came across the biggest stonefish he had ever seen at Riverview Boat Ramp in Elliott Heads.
"This one was by far the largest one I have seen ever by a long way," Mr Spence said.
"I come across them often but only because I'm around waterways so often, but the majority I have seen have only been small.
"I would normally just unhook and release them but due to the size and the nature of this big one, very slow and calm, I very cautiously held it for a quick photo before releasing it."
Despite Mr Spence deciding to hold one he said they were fine to look at from a distance, but like a lot of our animals in Australia they are dangerous to touch.
"Unless you stand on one or handle one they pose no threat just like snakes sharks," he said.
"If you are in an area where they are found people should just be mindful, no need to be afraid just remember they can be in the area."
From his experience fishing he said he has often found them around rocks and mud.
"They are very poisonous with a row of big spines along there backs and with incredible camouflage they are very hard to see so get stepped on more often," he said.
"They are extremely hard to see as they look like rocks and they are usually found hiding in the rocks and mud flats.
"But just watch where you walk or have something on your feet if you are walking around areas they could be."
Mr Spence he only personally knew one person who had been spiked.
"I only know one person that has been spiked by one that he accidentally kicked while snorkelling."
On Queensland Health's website they have noted what to do if you are spiked.
"To prevent stonefish stings, sturdy footwear should be worn on reef flats, or while wading on soft-bottom substrates adjacent to rocky or weedy areas," the website said.
"In the event of a sting, dial Triple Zero (000) as antivenom may need to be administered."
Queensland Health said to check the temperature of the water before placing the affected area in hot water as a stonefish sting can alter sensation.
"Do not bandage or try to restrict movement of the toxin."
"Instead, immerse the affected area in hot water - heat breaks down the venom.
"Try putting an unaffected part of the patient's body in the hot water first to make sure it will not burn them."