Operation Stingray is a good start but Lake Illawarra Protection Taskforce members are calling for more to be done to deter cockle poachers this summer.
A picnic meeting at Central Park, Oak Flats on Sunday heard from many community members on what was needed to stop the shellfish pillaging in coming months.
Residents were particularly keen to hear the views of Emma Corfield from the Department of Primary Industries.
Ms Corfield, the supervising fisheries officer for the Illawarra and Shoalhaven, admitted last season was the busiest she had seen in terms of illegal harvesting of cockles around Lake Illawarra.
And, she was expecting this coming season to be just as busy.
"We have increased our resources from adjoining districts to try and address this," Ms Corfield said.
"Operation Stingray has been underway since the 1st of September and it will run through until the end of Easter.
"The ongoing operation is targeting collecting not only in the lake for cockles but also in-tidal rock platforms."
She said the government was doing all it could to stop this illegal harvesting of cockles.
"We patrol regularly all different hours to try and target the non-compliant fishers," Ms Corfield said.
"We've had some really good reports' results and when we do find people doing the wrong thing we do take appropriate action, which can be anything from cautions to fines to prosecutions."
Each person is allowed to collect 50 cockles per day and must have a fishing licence.
Reprimands for excessive fishing can range from a formal warning, a $500 on the spot fine or a notice to attend court.
Ms Corfield said those inadvertently offending and those doing it for a commercial sale were split.
She also warned residents not to engage with fishers potentially breaking the law.
"If they see suspicious activity we urge them to call the fishers watch hotline 1800 043 536, leave as much detailed information as they possibly can and let us do our job because we've got the powers.
"Don't interact, don't engage."
Lake Illawarra Protection Taskforce member Tammy Larkins said Operation Stingray was a step in the right direction but the government wasn't doing nearly enough.
She called on Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall to visit the area and do something to help the Lake.
"We've asked him to increase fines and decrease the bag limits but he hasn't responded," she said.
"Instead of $500, lets increase the fines to $5000, like we did for our Illawarra pipis, which have since been wiped out.
"Let's decrease the bag limits. Fifty for oysters and cockles each is a lot of shellfish per person, let's decrease them.
"In my perfect world I would like to have a complete seasonal ban and through summer you can't come down here and you can't collect any shellfish from Lake Illawarra at all."