‘KEEP OUT – FISHING PLATFORM CLOSED’ – these are the stark words that have confronted disappointed Canning Bridge fishing regulars on arrival at their favourite fishing spot in the last couple of weeks.
The iconic fishing platform was suddenly closed to anglers in mid-July after an assessment by Main Roads WA of the bridge’s timber piles and steel bracings which support the fishing platform were deemed as unsafe.
The timber fishing platform under the heritage-listed bridge itself has long been a favourite spot for land-based anglers to drop a line in the Canning River, targeting bream, flathead, tailor, mulloway and other species.
“The lack of notice around this closure is disappointing, especially as this location has been a key fishing spot for generations,” said Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell.
“Popular land-based fishing platforms like this are hugely important for metro-based anglers, particularly for those who don’t own a boat.
“The fishing platform is listed on the state heritage register, confirming its importance not just for fishing but as part of our wider culture. It is important we see access restored to the Canning Bridge fishing platform as soon as possible.”
When can we fish again under Canning Bridge?
A major refurbishment of the platform is required as there are no strengthening options to maintain the platform. As a result, the platform itself could collapse, resulting in injuries to anyone accessing the platform.
Like any timber structure, the fishing platform requires maintenance. As the platform is underwater and exposed to the elements, this maintenance can be challenging as work crews are mostly underwater.
Main Roads advised the platform is starting to rot from the inside out, essentially becoming hollow while appearing structurally sound at first glance above the waterline.
According to the Main Roads spokesperson, the maintenance work is expected to take between three to six months.
During that time, Main Roads will repair or replace the bridge’s timber piles as well as the timber and steel bracings which support the platform. This will involve temporary removal of the fishing platform along with inspections, repairs or replacement of defective components.
On completion of the substructure repairs, Main Roads will reinstate the timber deck of the fishing platform.
Recfishwest will be watching developments closely and be asking some serious questions of Main Roads if access is not restored to anglers to the fishing platform within an acceptable timeframe.
Leyland said, “Thanks very much to all of you who reached out to us about this issue – we will keep you updated as this situation develops. It’s important that fishers continue to be vigilant and speak up to protect not just our favourite fishing spots but also important parts of our fishing culture and heritage.”