A MONSTER saltwater crocodile has been spotted sunbaking just metres away from anglers.
The Groper Creek Caravan Park has been jam-packed with visitors enjoying the Easter and Labour Day long weekends.
Local fisherman Russell Dean said the crocodile – estimated to be over four metres long – was a bit of a tourist attraction at the small fishing village south of Townsville.
“I like seeing them but don’t see too many of them these days â€¦ it’s the first one I’ve seen at Groper Creek anyway,” Mr Dean said.
“I’m surprised it’s there with all the Easter traffic but that’s a bit wild.
“We got about 10 metres away from it before it went in under the water.”
He said the reptiles don’t really bother the anglers, with the only reason they should be trapped and moved on being if they get too close to the jetty.
“They own the water as much as we do,” he said.
Sunshine Coast woman Susan Fraser snapped photos of the sunbaking reptile, saying it was “pretty big – about four-metres plus”.
“He’s a beauty and has been there for the last four years,” Mrs Fraser said.
It was spotted at an inlet known as Heaths Creek, with anecdotal reports of crocodiles also frequenting nearby Wallace Creek, popular with anglers.
A total of 20 crocodile sightings were reported across the Townsville and Hinchinbrook regions since the start of last month.
In Townsville, three crocodiles were reported at the Ross River, another at Saunders Beach and one at the Rowes Bay Golf Club.
The Department of Environment said they were “monitoring further reports” of these reptiles.
Two deceased crocodiles were also reported at the Upper Bohle River and at Hencamp Creek in Rollingstone.
At the end of March, departmental wildlife officers removed a 2.2-metre croc from the wild at Saunders Beach, just a few weeks after a 3.5-metre croc was removed from the same area.
April 3: Crocodile reported at Ross River, Townsville
April 5: Crocodile reported at Ross River, Townsville
April 9: Crocodile reported at Ross River, Townsville
April 12: Crocodile reported at Saunders Beach, Townsville
April 15: Crocodile reported at Rollingstone Creek, Balgal Beach
April 16: Crocodile reported at Rowes Bay Golf Club, Town Common
Large crocodiles aren’t a rare sight at Groper Creek, with a huge reptile filmed sunbaking just metres from anglers fishing and crabbing.
The reptile, estimated to be close to 4m in length, wasn’t spooked by boats whizzing past as he lazed on a sandbank along the Burdekin River, not far from the Groper Creek caravan park boat ramp.
And in 2014, four local men faced court after finding a three-metre crocodile attached to a buoy at Groper Creek before shooting it and dragging it into their boat.
The large saltie spotted over the past few weeks has not been officially reported to the department.
Report crocodile sightings in Queensland to 1300 130 372.