Another 100,000 barramundi stocked in lovely Lake Kununurra

A trailblazing Lake Kununurra fish stocking program is getting tantalizingly close to the one million fish stocked mark, after another 100,000 barra were released in the fishing gem in the Kimberley yesterday evening.

From small things, mighty things grow and with the holy grail of 1m-long barra regularly being caught and 120cm fish — like the stonker caught by Curt McCarathy, pictured — not a rarity, Lake Kununurra is rapidly establishing itself as world-class impoundment fishery and a ‘must-go-to’ on recfishers’ hit-lists.

Curt McCartney with a mighty Lake Kununurra barra!

A world-class fishery supported by world-class science, the stocking program simply could not be possible without the work of North Regional TAFE’s Broome Aquaculture Centre, who hatch, rear and transport the fish for stocking.

The Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking Group also play a major role, throwing their enthusiasm and time into making the project a huge success.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said Kununurra was cementing itself as a must-visit fishing location, with many fishers wanting to chase barra at Lake Kununurra.

“In the past eight years, more than 850,000 barramundi fingerlings have been stocked into Lake Kununurra to help boost its barramundi population,” he said.

“Adding another 100,000 barramundi into what is already a world-class barra would further solidify Kununurra as a must-visit fishing location.

“This project has highlighted how true fish abundance not only promotes great fishing experiences, but also benefits regional communities.

“With 1m-plus barra already regular catches within Lake Kununurra, we can’t wait to see more big trophy fish caught within the freshwater system in the years to come.”

A total 950,000 barra have been stocked into Lake Kununurra through the project since 2013. Picture: Benjamin Broadwith

With the State Government backing funding for stocking of the lake with barra for the next three years as part of its COVID recfishing recovery package, the fishery looks set to go from strength-to-strength.

It’s another example of how well managed fish stocking programs can create true fish abundance that not only promotes great fishing experiences, but also benefits regional communities.

Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking Group’s Matt Cox said it was terrific to have almost one million barra stocked into the popular waterway.

“The program has been a success to-date, with the town starting to see regular interest from fishers travelling far-and-wide to come and try their luck with the released barramundi of Lake Kununurra,” he said.

“The lake is also seeing an increase in local recreational fishers trying their luck to land a genuine monster.

“The vision of the Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking Group is to create a world-class sustainable fishery on the doorstep of Kununurra for locals and visitors to the region to experience. Given the recent commitment by the State Government, the group feels this goal is nearly within grasp.”

Fish stocking has established Lake Kununurra as a must-visit fishing location! Picture: Benjamin Broadwith