Carnarvon community’s hard-work opens much-needed fascine access

Carnarvon boat fishers should be cautiously optimistic today after the McGowan Government pledged $7 million to help solve ongoing boat access issues at the fascine as part of its WA Recovery Plan.

Carnarvon boat fishers during the “Free the Fascine” in February.

Access to the ocean from the fascine was blocked following a cyclone in 2017 and since then the Carnarvon community have been fighting to restores access even going so far as to buy their own dredge.

Today the State Government appears to have heard the calls of the community and committed $7 million to deliver a permanent solution that will provide permanent access to the ocean from the fascine.

The announcement marks a significant step forward for the aspirations of the Carnarvon community, who in February this year held a rally to highlight the need for the Government to “Free the Fascine”.

Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell, alongside Nationals MP Vince Catania and Aussie cricketing legend Kim Hughes, joined fishers in Carnarvon at the rally to ratchet up the calls.

Leyland said improving accessibility at the fascine would allow Carnarvon fishers to easily, and safely, get among the terrific fishing – which includes mulloway and cobia – off the Gascoyne town once more.

“Recfishwest are proud to have supported the Carnarvon community and their fight to address the fascine issue,” he said.

“Solving the fascine problem will not only benefit Carnarvon’s recfishers, but also the many boat fishers from across the State that travel to the popular fishing town each year.”

The $7 million will go towards delivering a permanent access solution from options put forward by the Fascine Entryway Project Steering Committee.

Immediate measures will be implemented to improve boat fishers’ access including regularly moving channel markers to ensure boats can safely use the deepest water.

Specialised equipment will be installed next month to collect further data that can be used with recent hydrographic survey results.

Also, environmental approvals have been sought to finalise a plan for the fascine that provides year-round boat access to the waterway.

“Recfishers spend $2.4 billion on fishing annually,” Leyland said. “Keeping that in mind, this announcement ensures boat fishers have access to one of the best fishing destinations off WA’s coast.”

Cobia are a common catch off Carnarvon.