Fish stocking is king with 10,000 more yellowtail kingfish released

The evolution of a comprehensive metro fish stocking program took another big step forward today, with the release of a further 10,000 yellowtail kingfish from South Mole at Fremantle.

WATCH: All the action from releasing 10,000 kingies!

That’s 10,000 more reasons to get excited about hooking into amazing sportfishing off Perth with the State Government backing in a metro yellowtail stocking program.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland says effective stocking programs create fish abundance. Picture: Recfishwest

Stocking yellowtail kingfish in the metro is part of a recfishing COVID recovery package announced in August by Premier Mark McGowan alongside Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland and Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley.

This morning, Recfishwest joined staff from the Marine Finfish Hatchery – Fremantle, who cultured the kingfish, to release the fish along with several leading members of the WA fishing community including Chris Dixon, of Dixon Brothers Fishing, Halco Tackle’s Curtis Waterman, Denmark fisher Fabio Varrone, Hon-Su Chin, of Tackle West, and Compleat Angler Nedlands’ Brian Marshall.

Soon-to-be Kings of the reef

Dr Rowland said this latest release was a great step forward in developing an ongoing dedicated metro yellowtail kingfish stocking program and helped push the envelope for the development of a comprehensive State-wide stocking program backed by the State Government.

“Only five months ago, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) scientists and Recfishwest released 5,000 hatchery-bred yellowtail kingfish from Fremantle – the first-time cultured kingies had been released in WA,” he said.

“With a total of 15,000 kingies now released, there’s a greater chance of these juveniles making it to adulthood – having been nurtured through the most vulnerable phase of their lifecycle.

“These kingfish like the rest of their Seriola family are hardy, fast-growing – so they’re a great species for stocking.

“At the rate these fish can grow – nearly 5kg in only 18 months – it’s going to be really interesting to see how many more kingies start showing up on some of the inshore reef systems around the coast in the next couple of years on the back of these stocking events.”

Working together for better fishing outcomes

Dr Rowland said spearheading the trailblazing kingie stocking program with DPIRD proved recreational fishing, aquaculture and Government can work together to reach positive outcomes.

“Well-managed stocking programs create fish abundance, like what we’ve seen with our Lake Kununnura barra stocking, and create fantastic fishing experiences,” he said.

“It can also play a pivotal role in protecting our fish stocks from future environmental and human pressures, in turn making fishing better.”

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Aquaculture Production Coordinator at Marine Finfish Hatchery – Fremantle Michael Harrison added:

“What we’ve released today are 10g fingerlings – about 70 days old,” he said.

“This 10g fish represents a really robust fingerling that’s ready to go to sea, has a really good chance of survival and growing up to be a fish we can catch later on.”

Want to have a crack for yellowtail kingfish? Read Scott Coghlan’s top kingie tips in his latest Scott’s Species series here!  

Don’t miss Scott Coghlan’s latest Scott’s Species featuring hard-fighting hoodlums!

Thanks to everyone who supported today’s release!

A big Recfishwest shoutout to the DPIRD hatchery crew, all the great recfishing members who came down and lent a helping hand!