Once again this year, Albany’s popular Salmon Holes was the scene of a fantastic rock fishing safety initiative over Easter, with the Albany Offshore Boating and Fishing Club co-ordinating a safety stand at the popular fishing location.
This year’s stand was an unprecedented success, offering fishers the chance to borrow life jackets (PFDs) for free and enabling volunteers to pass on the crucial messages regarding rock fishing safety to many inexperienced anglers.
In previous years there has been a general reluctance to take the PFDs, which are also available to loan for free from retail outlets across the state, but the rock fishing safety message appears to be getting through and this year fishers were actually queuing up to receive them.
It was the first time in two years all the lifejackets had ever been loaned out. Organisers, including members of the AOBFC, were delighted with the unprecedented response from recreational fishers.
At the end of the weekend, the life jackets were donated to local migrant resource centres.
The stand was also supported by Recfishwest, with staff in attendance over the weekend, the Department of Parks and Wildlife, which controlled parking and limited visitor numbers when necessary at the Salmon Holes.
There were a couple of near misses over the Easter weekend but fortunately there were no fatalities.
Special mention needs to be made of local youngster Cowan Wise, who manned the stand across the entire four days and did a tremendous job of spreading the rock fishing safety message and assisting recreational fishers.
For more information on rock fishing safety, visit the fish and survive website.
We strongly recommend anyone going salmon fishing to fish from the beach and keep the sand between your toes.