Sad loss as Carnarvon’s One Mile Jetty hit by ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja

Recfishers are lamenting the sad loss of one of the State’s iconic jetties – Carnarvon’s 123-year-old One Mile Jetty – which was severely damaged by the wrath of ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja.

Recreational fishing is at the heart of the Carnarvon community and many local residents, along with members of WA’s wider fishing community, took to social media at the weekend to remember the many wonderful fishing experiences had at One Mile Jetty.

The Carnarvon One Mile Jetty was hit hard by ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja at the weekend. Picture: Angus Mackintosh / Twitter

While assessing the damage, Shire of Carnarvon president Eddie Smith summarised it best when he said: “As a local who spent a lot of my youth catching mulloway from the jetty, it’s heartbreaking.”

LISTEN: Eddie chats with ABC’s Russell Woolf from 2hours, 48minutes and 54 seconds

Recfishwest shares the sense of loss for this very important land-based fishing structure having run a number of successful local fishing clinics on the jetty over the years.

Although the much-loved fishing platform has been closed since late 2017 due to disrepair, the State Government had pledged $4.5 million to restore the first 430m of the jetty.

The Federal Government has also received an application for funds to fix and restore the structure.

For many Carnarvon locals, the jetty was a great place to learn how to fish. Picture: Recfishwest

Jetties – highly valued platforms for safe and accessible fishing

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said it was important for WA coastal towns to have safe and accessible fishing platforms, such as the jetty in Carnarvon.

“The damage to One Mile Jetty is a major blow to Carnarvon residents and visiting recfishers who have fond memories wetting a line from the structure before it was closed,” he said.

“Like many, Recfishwest believed the undertaking by the McGowan Government to commit $4.5 million commitment to the jetty’s much-needed repairs was a good start to restoring it to its former glory.

“As shown by the recent re-opening of the Esperance Jetty and the big numbers of those who flock to Busselton Jetty to fish every year, jetties are at the heart of those communities in which they are located.

“It is crucial that land-based access offered by platforms, such as jetties, is preserved, maintained and, where possible, extended to ensure the next generation of fishers can have similar rich fishing experiences many of us enjoyed on jetties cutting our angling teeth.”

At the many fishing clinics held at One Mile Jetty, including this one in 2011, young gun fishers had plenty of fun. Picture: Recfishwest

Esperance Jetty reopening – the importance of land-based fishing access to regional towns

Last month, more than 1,000 locals and mad-keen fishers attended the new Esperance Jetty’s official opening – highlighting the jetty’s importance to locals and holidaymakers.

With land-based fishing access near the town centre restored, the new Esperance Jetty has already been inundated with fishing families targeting herring, skippy, squid and the occasional Samson fish.

Dr Rowland said the re-opening of the Esperance Jetty proved jetties were important community foundations.

“Every seaside town should have a jetty for fishing and it’s great Esperance has one again,” he said.

“Too many of these highly important structures have been lost – we can’t afford to lose anymore and we would certainly like to see the Carnarvon community to have a jetty repaired and restored in the future.”

Queenfish were among the many species caught at the Recfishwest-held fishing clinics off One Mile Jetty. Picture: Recfishwest