The next cab off the rank – new artificial reef announced for Carnarvon

In exciting news for recfishers living in or visiting the Gascoyne, a new artificial reef funded through a $300,000 Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund grant is to be deployed off the Carnarvon coast.

While an exact location for the reef will be determined in consultation with the Carnarvon fishing community it will be located far enough out to create exciting fishing opportunities, but close enough in for small boats and families to safely reach and enjoy.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “Members of the Carnarvon community are passionate about their fishing and for several years have been working hard to demonstrate why Carnarvon needs a reef and the value it would provide. It is great to see the government have listened to the community and committed to deliver new fishing experiences funded using recreational fishing licence fees.”

The Carnarvon reef will be WA’s eighth purpose-built artificial reef, with reefs already in place at Bunbury, Dunsborough, Rottnest Island, Mandurah, Exmouth, Esperance and another coming to Perth’s northern suburbs in early 2020.

“Positive fishing development projects are starting to mould the West Aussie rec fishing landscape. With six artificial reefs already in the water, the recent exciting announcement about the new State-wide FADs program and now Carnarvon’s artificial reef, recreational fishing in WA is going from strength to strength.”  Dr Rowland said.

The Carnarvon reef will provide local and visiting fishers with a great place to fish for local prized species. Following the success of artificial reefs in other locations, the Carnarvon community are very excited about how good their fishing will be once this reef is in the water. Today’s announcement is one we and the Carnarvon community will particularly welcome given the ongoing loss of access to the iconic Carnarvon jetty.

Fishing is part of the West Aussie lifestyle and part of our culture, and investments from Government and Recfishwest into new fishing developments, such as artificial reefs enhance people’s fishing experiences, provide increased localised tourism and deliver economic benefits that all helps support healthy communities.

To read more about our artificial reefs program click here.

We are looking forward to beginning the public consultation and tender process for the design and construction of the reef which is due to begin in mid-2020.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said, “Artificial reefs not only provide great fishing opportunities, but also support local businesses and regional jobs by attracting more visitors to the area and increasing participation in recreational fishing.”

Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn said, “This is a great initiative and will be a huge asset to the Carnarvon community. I have seen an artificial reef work extremely well in Exmouth and make a positive contribution to both locals and tourists.”

Recfishwest looks forward to working with the local Carnarvon fishing community and continuing talks with Carnarvon recfishers to ensure an optimum location and layout for their reef.

Read what the Minister for Fisheries had to say about the new reef here.

Call out for Reef Vision volunteers

Recfishwest puts the call out for artificial reef filming fisher volunteers

Recfishwest is casting out for red-hot keen boat fishers who want to be part of the the marine citizen science program, Reef Vision – the first of its kind in the world.

We’re looking for more volunteers to join the ever-growing and valuable Reef Vision team and help catch valuable footage of the state’s artificial reefs while out fishing.

Reef Vision volunteers collect valuable data

The Reef Vision Program is made up of passionate fishers from the recreational fishing community who assist Recfishwest map and monitor the growth and development of these fish habitat-enhancement structures in Esperance, Dunsborough, Busselton, Mandurah and Exmouth.

The State’s artificial reefs program driven by Recfishwest, has been developed to provide great fishing opportunities relatively close to shore allowing small boat owners the chance to have better fishing experiences.

Each Reef Vision volunteer is given a BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) camera, and training on how to set up, deploy and retrieve the equipment.

The volunteers drop the cameras near to the reef on their way to their fishing spot and record an hour of video footage of the artificial reefs. This footage is later analysed by Recfishwest, university researchers and students to see what fish are using the reefs and helping us to understand the benefits of artificial reefs and the fish that call them home.

To date, Reef Vision volunteers have collected hundreds of hours of valuable footage from the six artificial reefs monitored in the reef vision program identifying hundreds of different species including dhufish, Samson fish, baldchin groper, pink snapper and large schools of mulloway and red emperor, Rankin cod, queenfish and blue bone.

Local community members deploying Baited Remove Underwater Video cameras

“I love my fishing here in WA and being part of Reef Vision gives me the chance to give something back. It’s also really cool to see what’s going on down there – there are some amazing things you see” said Reef Vision volunteer Garry Dyer.

Recfishwest’s Research Officer Steph Watts said, “We need to know what’s happening on these reefs, and it’s even more important that the volunteers are enjoying their time collecting the footage for us.

“They’re the backbone of Reef Vision, and we can’t thank them enough,”

Fishers who might be interested in participating and want to know more are asked to email steph@recfishwest.org.au.

Cooper Reef Recognised in Awards for Excellence

Throughout our great state there are plenty of stories of community champions rolling up their sleeves to make fishing better in their local area.

Graham accepting the award on behalf of the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club

One such story is that of the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club lead by local stalwart Graham Cooper and their work on the Esperance Artificial Reef, named Cooper Reef in Graham’s honour.

Their fantastic efforts were recognised on 29th June when the club took out the ‘Best Project’ in the small clubs category of the Clubs WA Awards for Excellence.  Recfishwest attended the awards event with Graham and fellow club member Nigel Worth.

Special Projects Award

Part of what made the recognition extra special was the fact that many club members literally built the reef with their own hands when they helped to pour dozens of the 128 concrete modules that now make up the reef.

Artificial reefs from Esperance to Exmouth continue to provide great fishing experiences for local communities. All of these projects were born out of dedicated local fishers who had a vision to improve fishing and the drive to make it happen.

Recfishwest are extremely proud to have been able to assist Graham and his team in delivering this exciting project for their local community.

Read more here in the Esperance express about the clubs great achievement.

Click here to find out more about Artificial reefs in WA including development information, location and how to fish them.

Family, friends and Recfishwest celebrating with Graham on Saturday evening

Peel Reef Vision – Monitoring Underway

Recfishwest’s world first marine citizen science program “Reef Vision” is a research project that uses recreational fishers to collect video footage of the fish and marine life on artificial reefs to assist in the monitoring and development of the reefs.

A variety of species including skippy, flathead and juvenile pink snapper captured on camera by Peel Reef Vision volunteers on the Mandurah Artificial Reef

Earlier this month, Recfishwest and project partners celebrated the launch of Peel Reef Vision in Mandurah with an information and training workshop held at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club (MOFSC).  Keen local volunteers have already dropped cameras on the Mandurah Artificial Reef giving us a greater understanding on how this reef is developing and learning what fish species are using the reefs.

Footage already collected by Peel Reef Vision volunteers showing the growth on the Mandurah Artificial Reef modules and a curious octopus

Tackle World Miami are kindly providing bait and advice to volunteers, enabling them to collect this footage of the reefs using their new specialised baited underwater video cameras.

Recfishwest and Murdoch University are again partnering to deliver the Peel Reef Vision program providing an excellent level of academic rigour to the program.  Murdoch are also managing our 2019 Southwest Reef Vision program that monitors the Dunsborough and Bunbury artificial reefs.

Plenty of juvenile snapper captured on camera by Peel Reef Vision volunteers on the Mandurah Artificial Reef. By using a network of dedicated community volunteers to monitor our reefs as they develop we are able to obtain regular footage of a reef’s development and we often get some really amazing shots such as the images in this article

Peel Reef Vision volunteers have already recorded a range of species that use the reef including pink snapper, skippy, john dory, flathead, whiting and an octopus!

This new addition to the Reef Vision program compliments the existing community monitoring programs currently underway on artificial reefs deployed in Esperance, Exmouth, Dunsborough and Bunbury.

We would like to give a special thanks to the MOFSC for hosting the Reef Vision information eveningt. The club have been an invaluable part of the deployment of the Mandurah artificial reef, and now with monitoring the reef’s development.

Peel Reef Vision is funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest.

Interested in our world first Reef Vision program? Find out more by emailing steph@recfishwest.org.au

A juvenile dhufish coming in for a closer look at the baited camera

 

To see more underwater footage of various artificial reefs and some of the species calling them home, visit the Artificial Reefs WA Facebook page.

To read more about Artificial Reef Monitoring click here or Citizen Science Programs here.

See what’s biting on our other artificial reefs:

40 Species seen on Exmouth’s newest fishing playground

Rottnest Fish Towers Fire Up!

 

40 species seen on Exmouth’s newest fishing playground

Here’s what we sent to our members earlier in the week!


Exmouth’s newest fishing playground ‘King Reef’ has been in the water for four months now and locals are already reporting some great catches from the reef. With recent footage collected by Curtin University and Exmouth Reef Vision volunteers we are also seeing some amazing footage from the sea floor.

In an Australian first, six giant steel structures combined with purpose-built concrete modules were deployed in the Exmouth Gulf only 10 minutes from the Exmouth Marina – providing safe and accessible experiences for families in small boats. With a reef the equivalent of 11 Olympic size swimming pools, WA’s latest reef is one of the fastest developing reefs in Australia and will only get better!

As a Recfishwest Member we want to share with you first, the second look of fish that are calling the reef home. 40 species have now been recorded on King Reef! Recently observed Golden Trevally, Amberjack, Pearl Perch and Saddle Tail Seaperch have joined abundant juvenile Red Emperor, big Estuary Cod, Rankin Cod, Spangled Emperor, Tuskfish and Flathead just to name a few.

Did you miss the 1st look at King Reef back in September? You can check that out, including the coordinates for the reef here.

Artificial reefs in Western Australia have been a product of community drive and passion with local fishers pushing for reef installations,  transforming areas devoid of bottom structure and habitat to underwater ‘forests’.

Artificial reefs have also benefited the broader local community by supporting local businesses and the economy through increased fishing tourism. The artificial reefs provide not only an opportunity for ecological growth under the water, but also social and economic growth for the community.

So next time you’re in Exmouth, make sure you pay King Reef a visit!


Receive member updates ahead of the rest by signing up now – CLICK HERE.

First Look! 28 species in 28 days

Exmouth’s newest fishing playground is the fastest developing artificial reef in WA with 28 species calling it home within 28 days!

Juvenile Red Emperor, Rankin Cod, Spango’s, Tuna, Estuary Cod and Sailfish are just some of the species on offer at the reef which was deployed in early August 2018.

All these fish are available for families in small boats to access, especially when the winds are up on the Western side of the Cape and people can escape to the Gulf to enjoy some great fishing only 10 minutes from the boat ramp.

Fishing King Reef

The reef configuration was designed in a way to maximise both fish production and the area available for people to fish. There’s no point building a fishing reef, if only a few boats can fish it. Drifting baits, trolling deep diving lures or jigging next to the structures with metal jigs or soft plastics are all good methods used to catch yourself a quality fish.

More importantly, drop into the local Exmouth tackle stores to make sure your gear is up to scratch, especially if your fishing around the steel structures – as once a decent fish hits your lure or bait, you’ll need to lock your drag up, steer the fish away from the structures and muscle that fish back to your boat.

Need the Coordinates? (These are also available on our Artificial Reefs webpage)

King Reef is only a 10 minute boat trip from the Exmouth Marina! Click for larger image.

Check out the PerthNow story here: https://www.perthnow.com.au/…/first-look-at-fish-in-new-wa-…

To read more about the reef and the location, visit https://recfishwest.org.au/news/king-reef-was-newest-fishing-playground/

King Reef – WA’s Newest Fishing Playground

WA’s latest purpose built artificial reef, ‘King Reef’, has been installed in the Exmouth Gulf, awaiting the fishing community to pay it a visit!

The project is a collaboration between Recfishwest, BHP, NERA (National Energy Resources Australia), Subcon International and Curtin University. Through Recfishwest the project also has support from the passionate Exmouth community and the Western Australian State Government, through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

Take a look at the video for the whole story inside what makes this project so exciting and paves the way for future engineered ecosystems!

Recfishwest Media Release_Exmouth King Reef_15 August2018

Exmouth King Reef Frequently Asked Questions 2018

Dave Kelly Media Release_Exmouth Artificial Reef 15 August 2018

King Reef Coordinates

Only 10 minutes from the Exmouth Marina Boat Ramp! 

Local Hands to Build Esperance Reef

Esperance artificial reef build begins

ESPERANCE EXPRESS

Jesinta Burton

Read it online here.

The long awaited Esperance Artificial Reef development is another step closer with construction having officially commenced on Wednesday, June 6.

Local volunteers from the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club will partake in a number of ‘busy bee’s’ throughout the month of June in order to build the artificial reef.

The $600,000 artificial reef development has been several years in the making.

Related stories:

The development came to fruition in December 2016, after it was announced it would receive $300,000 in funding from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

In March last year, the project doubled in size after the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission matched the existing funding.

The local vision, which has now developed into a 150 tonne project, was designed to rectify the substantial loss of fishing access in the region due to geographical and environmental factors.

South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council chairman Graham Cooper said it was a special feeling to know that the reef build was something that both members and their children would be able to enjoy.

“It’s great that we could keep the work and the reef materials sourced locally,” he said.

“I can’t wait to catch a queenie or a sambo on a reef that the Esperance fishing community built with their own hands.”

Recfishwest Research officer James Florisson said the reef design was configured specifically for local species and had been thoughtfully designed by engineers, marine biologists and ecologists.

Mr Florisson said the reef configuration would create a productive ecosystem for a variety of different species of fish.

“It will provide a home for species such as Queen Snapper, Breaksea Cod, Skippy, Harlequin and Pink Snapper,” he said.

“This could not have been done without the support of the community and the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

The reef was built and will be installed by artificial reef experts at global marine foundation Subcon.

It is expected the reef will be deployed in September this year.

Location of Exmouth Artificial Reef Announced

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly – Media Statement

Fishing licence fees help create an Exmouth integrated artificial reef
Wednesday, 16 May 2018

– New artificial reef will enhance Exmouth fishing experience
– Funded by recreational fishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, and supported by BHP and National Energy Resource Australia

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced the location for Exmouth’s new Integrated Artificial Reef (IAR).

The new $1 million artificial reef will be one of Australia’s largest artificial reefs and will be located near the Exmouth Boat Harbour inside the Exmouth Gulf, providing the community with new safe and accessible fishing opportunities.

More than 27,000 cubic metres of concrete and steel structures will be installed on the sandy bottom of the Exmouth Gulf. The project brings together world-leading engineering solutions and science-based habitat enhancement, all to benefit recreational fishing.

Local WA company and world leaders in artificial reef architecture, Subcon International, received funding to develop the reef from last year’s round of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF).

The Exmouth reef differs in both size and design to WA’s other artificial reefs. A mixture of steel integrated with concrete will form the reef’s 58 modules, which will range in height from one metre to 10 metres and laid out across two acres on the ocean floor. Once deployed, the 27,000 cubic metres of reef volume will be equal to that of 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

25 per cent of recreational licence fees collected by the Government, goes to the RFIF for investment back into the sector. A further 15 per cent of licence fees goes towards funding for Recfishwest, with the balance of licence fee money supporting fisheries management through the department.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“I am very pleased to announce the location of the Exmouth Integrated Artificial Reef, which will create a new, accessible, safe fishing location for recreational fishers.

“I look forward to seeing the artificial reef, which was partly funded by the State Government, effectively enhance the recreational fishing experience in WA.

“Thousands of people descend upon Exmouth for a fishing getaway but sometimes the winds and swell is unfavourable.

“This new reef will offer tourists and locals an alternative fishing in the safety of the gulf, which can only add to the appeal Exmouth has as an iconic WA fishing destination.

“The McGowan Government is delivering on its election commitment that ensures 25 per cent of recfishing licence fees are invested back into the sector through the RFIF.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6100

Exmouth Artificial Reef Location_PreDeployment_May2018

New Artificial Reef Coming to Perth’s Northern Suburbs

Fisheries Minister Media Release

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

– $1.9 million worth of new projects to put your fishing licence fees to work for you
– Since 2012, about $10 million from licence money has funded recfishing projects
– Perth’s northern metro waters will get an artificial reef to enhance fish habitats

A new artificial reef for Perth’s northern suburbs is one of 11 new recfishing projects worth almost $2 million that will be funded from recreational fishing licence money, through the latest round of the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF).

The McGowan Government will decide the specific location of the $1 million artificial reef through consultation with the fishing community and other stakeholders.

The announcement of a new northern metropolitan reef, comes five years after the deployment of Western Australia’s first ever artificial reef for fishing in Bunbury. Once in the water, the northern metropolitan reef will become WA’s seventh purpose-built artificial reef.

Other projects funded through the RFIF will be announced in the coming months.

The McGowan Government has delivered on its election commitment to the RFIF that ensures 25 per cent of recreational fishing licence money is invested back into recfishing. Projects funded provide safe, sustainable, accessible and enjoyable recreational fishing experiences in Western Australia.

WA’s Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund has already provided more than $10 million for projects that benefit WA fishers, while having additional tangible outcomes for fish habitats, the environment and research.

For more information, visit https://recfishwest.org.au/rfif

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“In 2015, WA Labor stood side by side with Recfishwest to protect this important fund, when the former government tried to cut it.

“The McGowan Government is delivering on its election commitment that ensures 25 per cent of recfishing licence money is invested back into the sector through the RFIF.

“A further 15 per cent of licence fees goes towards funding for Recfishwest, with the balance of licence fee money supporting fisheries management through the department.

“We’ve asked WA fishers where they want their licence money spent and artificial reefs continually come out towards the top of the list.

“Artificial reefs can provide quality fishing opportunities to help fishers avoid having to travel excessive distances or venture into rough waters, and they can also mean a huge boost for localised tourism as well as a win for fish habitats.

“A new artificial reef will enhance the recfishing opportunities for the growing northern suburbs.

“The goal of the McGowan Government is to ensure Western Australians have safe, accessible, sustainable and enjoyable fishing experiences for years to come.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6100