Recfishwest in the Regions

We are blessed in WA with some of the best fishing found anywhere in the country. In fact, I would argue that our 12,000km coastline provides the best variety of fishing experiences in Australia.

Lake Kununurra Barra Stocking

Regional fishing experiences form part of the core identity for many local communities and these experiences are also an important tourism drawcard for many of these towns. This is why it’s so important for Recfishwest to be connected to our regional communities.  Although we do this in a number of ways, by far the best way to properly understand what fishers are telling us is by visiting these locations ourselves.

This week, our staff have made visits to Esperance, Carnarvon and Kununurra.

Today I am in Kununurra as part of the ongoing barramundi stocking program in town. The program started back in 2012 and has seen over 650,000 barra released into Lake Kununurra.

Leyland Campbell, Recfishwest’s Operations Manager, is in Carnarvon for the annual Carnar-fin Fishing Competition and will be attending the competition weigh in and Kids Competition on Saturday. Leyland will be discussing all things fishing with locals, including pink snapper management and the proposed artificial reef for Carnarvon.

Steph deploying BRUVS on Esperance’s Cooper Reef

Our Research Officer Steph Watts just got back from a trip to Esperance where she gathered important information on Esperance’s new artificial reef. Steph, with the help of the Volunteer Marine Rescue and the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club, deployed underwater cameras to record fish populations on the reef. This visit also included updating club members on the reef and other Recfishwest projects. I can tell you Esperance Jetty remains a hot topic for local fishers.

The many different events we attend whether it be fishing clinics, public meetings, competitions, stocking days or research trips allow us to better engage with regional communities and hear directly from grassroots fishers.

The time the Recfishwest team spend in the numerous fishing towns around the state is invaluable to our organisation. It allows us to connect directly with the fishers on the ground and gather a first-hand understanding of their needs.

Recfishwest Sunsmart Fishing Clinic held at Gamex in Exmouth

If you are attending a fishing event somewhere in the state, chances are we will be there! So keep an eye out for the Recfishwest team and say ‘G’day’, we are always keen to hear your views on how to make your fishing better!

Dr Andrew Rowland

Cheif Executive Officer

Underwater footage from Cooper Reef

Esperance Reef 1 Step Closer

We have an exciting update regarding the development of the Esperance artificial reef.

Local Community Champion Graham Cooper with some of the concrete modules set to be deployed off the Esperance coast in October.

The Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy have approved the final piece of the process to get the Esperance artificial reef in the water.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland is excited to receive the final approval and says the reef is due to be deployed in October.

“The Esperance community and Recfishwest have been working for many years to make this dream a reality and now we’re past the final step,” Dr Rowland said.

“We’ve had great support from both State and Commonwealth Governments for this project, along with the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission.”

“The local fishing community rolled up their sleeves and teamed up with reef engineers, Subcon, to build their own 128 module, 150 tonne reef, and now to get this final tick of approval means a lot to the community.”

The funding for the Esperance reef comes from the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Grants Scheme, funded by Royalties for Regions and the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund supported by Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The reef will provide families in small boats access to safe fishing experiences close to Bandy Creek Boat Harbour and Wylie Bay, with access to fish species such as Pink and Queen Snapper, Nannygai, Breaksea Cod, Samson Fish, flathead, whiting and tuna.