IAN Stagles’ incredible work as a voice for recreational fishing over more than 30 years was recognised on the Gold Coast last month.
Ian, or ‘Stages’ as most people know him, was given the Mal Ramsay Lifetime Achievement Award for Recreational Fishing.
The award recognised his long-term commitment to working for the betterment of recreational fishing.
Ian Stagles has served on numerous committees and working groups including chairing the Ministerial Aquaculture Bill Task Force in 2008 and the Department of Fisheries Developing Fisheries Committee. He is a life member of Perth Game Fishing Club and was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 in recognition of his services to recreational fishing.
Ian has always been a keen advocate for the rights of recreational fishers, in particular securing and maintaining access to sustainable fishing opportunities. Perhaps most notably, he helped found Recfishwest, WA’s peak recreational body, and was the inaugural chair. Ian served as Chairman from 1997-1999, later returning as a general member of the board from 2010 – 2015.
Ian’s time at Recfishwest saw him work on issues such as access rights, Integrated Fisheries Management, marine parks and communication of recreational fishing issues.
In 1985 Ian launched Western Angler magazine which became recognised as the leading voice of recreational fishers in WA. Western Angler magazine provided a forum in which to highlight and discuss recreational fishing issues in WA. Throughout his time as managing editor, Ian highlighted many issues of importance to the recreational fishing community. Ian used his standing in the fishing community to positively influence community members to get involved in the management of their fishery.
In 2004, Ian founded the WA Fish Foundation in order to undertake work in the area of fish stocking. The WA Fish Foundation has been instrumental in a number of projects throughout its short history, including a large scale restocking of black bream into the iconic Blackwood river, providing genetically representative brood stock for a barramundi stocking of Lake Kununurra, stocking of 20,000 mulloway on the west coast, and perhaps most notably restocking the Swan River with school prawns, which has aided in the resurrection of a long forgotten recreational prawn fishery on the city’s doorstep. Ian continues his great work in this arena, with plans to expand both the mulloway and prawn stocking projects into the future.
Ian’s contribution to recreational fishing in WA is immense and his work in stocking recreationally important species will continue to benefit recreational fishers for generations.