National Recreational Fishing Conference

Recfishwest represented the Western Australian fishing community at the National Recreational Fishing Conference last month on the Gold Coast.

There were more than 150 participants from across Australia who attended the conference, including other state peak bodies, state governments and rec fishing researchers, making it a very worthwhile experience.

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The conference also included a Fish Habitat Workshop, run by the Fish Habitat Network, allowing open discussion between states on how best recreational fishers improve fish habitat.

The topic of fish habitat protection and enhancement should be of great interest to all WA recreational fishers with more Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) projects focusing on fish habitat and conservation.

Enhancing habitats in popular fishing locations state-wide could provide a major boost for recreational fishing in the regions in the coming years.

This could include the placement of artificials reefs in places like Roebuck Bay, or restoration of previously damaged habitat in creek systems.

We were very impressed by some of the great work in this area being done in New South Wales and Victoria, and there is also an impressive new oyster reef restoration being undertaken in South Australia.

The range of speakers included international researchers, representatives of the tackle industry and Commonwealth Senator Hon. Richard Colbeck.

Also discussed was the issue of the ‘value’ governments place on recreational fishing and this is better represented in the public eye.