Mandurah artificial reef gets recfishers and researchers thumbs up

Nearly four years after it was deployed and Mandurah artificial reef is going from strength to strength with big numbers of species such as Samson fish, King George whiting, skippy, squid and sand whiting, providing great fishing opportunities for local fishers.

A wide range of popular species are showing up on the reef cluster including this nice flattie, as well as the abundant skippy.

A recent milestone research study by Murdoch University as part of our Reef Vision project showed that the reef is currently holding 45 species of fish with a further 17 living around the area.

As well as attracting a school of salmon migrating north last autumn, the research report also points to increases in sizes of species like squid on the reef, which is holding six times the number of species on a nearby patch of ocean floor with a sandy bottom.

The reef is also supporting large schools of baitfish, which is attracting other species such as juvenile pink snapper, skippy and tarwhine.

Consisting of 30 three-by-three metre concrete modules, the reef was deployed 9km off the shores of Mandurah in April 2016 and is easily accessible for boats leaving from the Mandurah Estuary mouth or the Dawesville Cut.

Lachie Ramm, a local fisher and employee at family-owned Tackle World Miami, said the reef was an asset for the fishing community.

“We see how important the reef is – we hear about the great catches regularly, and we know the reef provides great value because there are always boats out there,” he said.

Recfishwest research officer Steph Watts said both the report and anecdotal evidence from local fishers and reef partners Tackleworld Miami was all helping to build up a picture of a regional recreational fishing community success story.

Whiting are in abundance around the reef – great fun to catch on light gear and good table fare!

“What we’re seeing is really encouraging,” she said.

“There’s quite a surprising amount of bait fish living off the reef now, which in turn is going to attract predators like dhufish, pink snapper and those bigger species.

“From that perspective, it’s delivering what it was designed for and the feedback we’ve received from fishers in the area has been really positive.

“Creation of fishing opportunities through artificial reefs is high up on many recfishers’ wish-lists and Recfishwest is proud to be delivering these projects that have ongoing benefits for the community.”

Recfishwest would like to thank all our partners involved in the Mandurah Reef project in particular Murdoch University, Tackleworld Miami, and Mandurah offshore fishing and sailing club for supporting the Reef vision monitoring project.

See our artificial reefs page for more information about our State-wide artificial reefs program.

The reef system has created a thriving marine ecosystem and includes species like this cool-looking occy which homed in on the BRUV and claimed it for his own!