We had a fantastic response to our Fishing for Science fish sampling table and fishing clinic in Dampier coinciding with King Bay Game Fishing Club’s recent Dampier classic.
The great response to these activities and the dozens of boats in the competition shows just how important fishing for regional communities continues to be.
Wahoo, Spanish mackerel, queenfish, longtail tuna, barracuda and golden trevally – these were just some of the species local anglers landed throughout our five-day visit to the northern coastal fishing jewel.
Our Sunsmart Fishing Clinic saw more than 40 eager kids wet a line off the shore, with plenty of great catches of species such as bluebone and stripey snapper providing great memories and snaps for the next generation of anglers.
Following the Sunsmart Fishing Clinics in the mornings, the icing on the cake for our Recfishwest team was the many fish given to us to sample for our Fishing for Science Program at the end of each day’s weigh-in from 67 competitors wetting a line from 21 vessels.
Fishing for Science is a community engagement program that enables local communities to better understand scientifically the fish species that underpin prized fishing experiences.
In total, more than 50 fish across 15 different species were brought to the sampling table, for measuring, sexing and having belly tissue samples taken to freeze for future scientific studies and monitoring of our fish stocks.
Other data gathered for our Fishing for Science program across the competition included the weight, condition, sex, parasites and maturity stage of each fish, providing useful knowledge for locals while allowing them to give back in protecting our fisheries.
Operations Officer Sam Russell said both the fishing clinics and positive engagement with the competition participants provided invaluable information on the importance of these special ocean habitats to our northern communities.
“A big thanks to the Dampier fishing communities, King Bay Game Fishing Club and Sunsmart for allowing us to run these clinics and engage with hundreds of Dampier and Karratha locals again this year – and a big thanks to our Fishing for Science partners Woodside Energy for supporting this great community program”