After a long three-year stocking hiatus, Harvey Dam is finally set to see 100,000 marron make a splash into its waterways in 2023.
The announcement by the Fisheries Minister Don Punch fixes a decision by DPIRD to prevent marron being stocked into Harvey Dam as part of a stocking program funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and launched by the Premier Mark McGowan at the dam in 2019.
Over the last few years, the team from Aquafarms, supported by Recfishwest, helped release 300,000 marron into the popular Waroona and Logue Brook dams.
Large numbers of marron were also supposed to be released into Harvey Dam last year as part of this project, but one month before stocking DPIRD advised Recfishwest that, approval to stock Harvey Dam would not be provided.
DPIRD’s rationale for refusing permission to stock Harvey Dam was largely based on two-decade old research. However, this rationale did not extend to Logue Brook or Waroona Dams, leaving local marron fishers confused and disappointed that the premier marroning location of a recreational-only fishery was missing out, despite assurances it would be a focus of the stocking project.
Recfishwest raised our concerns directly with the Fisheries Minister and is pleased that he cut through the red tape put in place by DPIRD to ensure marron would be stocked in WA’s premier marooning location as intended.
A sensible outcome
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “We thank the Minister for listening to Recfishwest and overcoming needless Government bureaucracy to right this wrong – it’s a sensible resolution that ensures a good outcome for the community.
“By working with the Minister and DPIRD, we hope to achieve a similar sensible resolution for the west coast demersal fishery and avoid the extensive social and economic damage the Government’s initial proposal for a nine-month ban would cause.
“Marron is an icon of the South-West and marroning is a hugely popular pastime, with Harvey Dam the most popular marroning location.
“The marron season brings in thousands of freshwater fishers from around the state to the pristine South-West waterways, helping inject millions of dollars back into our regional tourism economies.
“Stocking initiatives like this can future-proof the marron fishery and take us closer to our vision of year-round marroning.”
Breeding from the marron captured at Harvey Dam has already begun, with restocking expected to start as early as June next year.