Boat fishers launch back into cape as anticipated Canal Rocks ramp reopens

Boat fishers will be able to quickly access the west-side of Cape Naturaliste again, with Canal Rocks’ revamped $1.6 million boat ramp and jetty set to officially open for vessels to launch.

Although weather conditions are looking pretty ordinary over the weekend — so be sure to provide extra considerations to safety if you’re planning to head out — the long-awaited boat ramp is due to open today, 29 May.

Dhufish are a popular target off Canal Rocks for South West fishers, including Corren Wakelam.

The upgraded ramp provides much-needed access for many South West boat fishers to launch their vessel on the westerly side of Cape Naturaliste and head directly into oceanic waters.

Corren Wakelam, who lives a five-minute drive away, is among those who can’t wait to reverse the boat down the recently reopened ramp to head out in search of dhufish, pinkies, Sambos or yellowtail kingfish.

“It is a really, really well-placed boat ramp,” Corren said.

“It provides a close access to deeper water, which means less travelling in a boat and also great access to fishing ground farther south towards Gracetown.

“The Canal Rocks ramp is located on the west end of the cape, so it decreases the travel time on the water by around half an hour depending on weather conditions.

“When launching at Canals, the main target species is dhufish or pink snapper — fishing off Cape Naturaliste always puts a smile on my face.”

The Canal Rocks boat ramp while under construction earlier this year. Picture: Corren Wakelam

Launching into a new era

The completed $1.6 million upgrade includes a 1.8m-wide, wheelchair accessible jetty extending 48m seaward.

It is also set to help Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue respond much quicker to emergencies in open ocean, rather than launching from Geographe Bay and travelling around the cape.

However, four years ago there were fears fishing access to the cape’s westside would be lost forever when the State Government flagged Canal Rocks’ ramp would be permanently closed.

It led to widespread community backlash, with hundreds of South West fishers and other locals rallying at Canal Rocks to voice strong opposition to the planned closure.

A petition to save the ramp was also signed by more than 4,000 people.

FLASHBACK: Recfishwest and fishers rally for Canal Rocks boat ramp to remain open

With the ramp now officially open, Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland thanked the Government for recognising the need to maintain a high-quality boating infrastructure at Canal Rocks.

“This is a significant moment for the region’s fishers, especially those near Yallingup and Dunsborough,” he said.

“It’s a testament to those who made their thoughts loud and clear and fought against the ramp’s closure.

“And, thank you to the Government for listening — common sense prevailed.

“In COVID times, recreational fishing is more important than ever and we need critical infrastructure to let people access the great fishing WA has to offer.

“With the new ramp now open, I can’t wait to get down south myself and head out off Cape Naturaliste.”

Corren Wakelam with a blue groper off the west-side of Cape Naturaliste.

Continue Reading

February 22, 2024

Metro southern garfish ban lifted

In good news for metro anglers, the ban on southern garfish from Lancelin to Myalup is due to be lifted from Friday 1 March.   The ban was implemented in 2017 after an assessment by the Fisheries Department showed…

Read More

February 20, 2024

Recfishwest calls for clarity on proposed offshore wind energy (OWE) projects’ impacts on the marine environment and fishing

Recfishwest  says the announcement by the Commonwealth Government on the area being proposed for offshore wind farms was disappointingly light on critical details. The proposal released yesterday has left fishers…

Read More

February 16, 2024

Recfishwest calls on Government to listen to local fishers and re-think illogical and unjustifiable no fishing zones

Recfishwest says that some of the proposed no-fishing zones in the Government’s South Coast Marine Park plans released today are “completely illogical and unjustifiable”. Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “…

Read More

February 14, 2024

Recfishwest welcomes Fisheries Minister’s west coast demersal reallocation decision

Recfishwest welcomes today’s decision by Fisheries Minister Don Punch to reallocate 20 tonnes of the west coast demersal catch to the recfishing sector – just over a year after changes to the fishery were made. …

Read More

January 31, 2024

Fishability launches new Perth vessel to help people with disabilities enjoy the magic of fishing on the Swan River!

Recfishwest and Fisheries Minister Don Punch joined fishing charity Fishability at the Royal Perth Yacht Club on the Swan River to launch its fantastic, new 8.75m specially adapted boat to give people with…

Read More

January 31, 2024

West coast demersal closure from 1 February – recfishers leading by example

From Thursday, 1 February, the west coast demersal fishery between Kalbarri and Augusta will be closed until 29 March (Good Friday) to recfishers.   It’s great to see recfishers play their part in the recovery of…

Read More