New trout monitoring app to help shape the future of South West freshwater fishing

Calling all passionate freshwater anglers! Here’s an opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of the South West’s freshwater fishery.

Recfishwest is encouraging trout anglers to download the easy-to-use Recfishwest Trout Monitoring mobile app and provide fishing information that will be vital in informing future fish stocking programs in the South West.

Passionate freshwater angler and Recfishwest Non-executive Director Liam Surridge with a South West rainbow trout!

You can download Recfishwest Trout Monitoring for free from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

The app allows anglers to log their trout catches to help better understand freshwater fishing.

As many in the freshwater fishing community will already be aware, environmental changes – including annual declining rainfall in WA’s south – pose a risk to the freshwater fishery’s effort.

“The data collected through the Recfishwest Trout Monitoring app will help mitigate against potential environmental threats, in turn protecting our great freshwater fisheries,” Recfishwest Operations Officer Aaron Moses said.

Have you downloaded the app yet?

“Better informed future trout stocking strategies and programs in the South West will be critical in ensuring fish are stocked in the optimum areas.

“This kind of citizen science effort through the app driven by anglers who care passionately about their fisheries can only lead to better outcomes for the future of the freshwater fishing in WA.”

Tracking trout

Recfishwest Trout Monitoring was developed by Infofish, the tech experts who also built Recfishwest’s Swanfish and Salmon Slam apps.

In addition to Recfishwest’s freshwater experts, Australian Trout Foundation (ATF) and Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFFA) helped develop the app’s content.

The app is easy to operate and boasts an image recognition feature to distinguish between brown trout, rainbow trout and redfin perch.

In addition to measuring a fish’s length, location of capture and retention, anglers can also report on the environmental conditions of the rivers or streams they are fishing.

“The main reason we introduced this feature is so rivers or streams which dry up, or have limited flow over the summer months, aren’t stocked with fish,” Aaron said.

“It is a critical step towards ensuring fish aren’t stocked in waterways which have very limited or no environmental flow over the warmer months.”

Catch and log fish

Recfishwest, through its Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) on appropriate trout stocking locations each year.

Over the past four years, more than 2.3 million trout fry have been released in the South West.

About 100,000 rainbow trout yearlings and more than 10,000 rainbow and brown trout ex-broodstock have been released for the State’s freshwater anglers to target.

The new app will benefit future trout stocking programs in the South West. Picture: Liam Surridge