Freshwater Licence Free Weekend & Recfishwest’s TroutFest

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced Western Australians can go freshwater fishing in the State’s South-West, licence-free next weekend (September 2-3, 2017).

The special weekend will celebrate the opening of the freshwater fishing season on September 1 and give people the chance to try their hand at freshwater angling for free.” Minister Kelly said.

“The State Government is committed to supporting the recreational fishing industry which is an important economic driver for WA. That is why the State Government is giving Western Australians the chance to go fishing in the South-West on September 2 and 3 without the need for a freshwater fishing licence.”

This event aims to be the Freshwater version of Snapper Guardians – a fun day out for the whole family to enjoy!

To celebrate the Minister’s announcement, Recfishwest is running ‘TroutFest’, a  great opportunity for families to spend quality time together outdoors and have a go at freshwater fishing, just in time for Father’s Day!

Recfishwest is teaming up with The Western Australian Trout & Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA), to run Perth’s biggest family freshwater event, TroutFest.

This event is set to highlight the fantastic fishing available at Drakesbrook Weir, where participants will have the opportunity to release trout grown at the hatchery in Pemberton. Trout are stocked every year by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and this year the public get to participate directly in improving freshwater fishing experiences.

Event details:
• Saturday 2nd of September 2017
• Starts at 10.00 am to 1.30 pm
• Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona.

The event will be held at the freshwater fishing hotspot Drakesbrook Weir

The day will include:
• Trout Stocking
• Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages
• Fly Casting
• Freshwater Tackle & Rigging Information and Demonstrations

TroutFest will be a great occasion for families and friends to get along to a regularly stocked waterway to experience what freshwater fishing is all about. Participants will also have access to WATFAA members who will provide expert advice and tutelage during their fly and lure casting lessons and tackle and rigging demonstrations.

For many, this fishery is clouded in mystery, where in reality it is all about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA. So why not bring the family along and be a part of something special?

TroutFest promotes sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and will help encourage freshwater fishing in the South West.

Due to the popularity of this event, registrations are essential so Recfishwest can provide the best possible experience for you and your family. So please register here

View the flyer here

For more on Fishing for Freshwater Trout, visit I Love Fishing here.

To view the Minister’s Media Statement, click here.

Pemberton Trout Hatchery

Freshwater Fishing in Good Hands

For the majority of West Aussies, fishing means jumping on a boat or heading to the coast and enjoying the fabulous saltwater fishing opportunities available. There is, however, the option to escape into the wilderness of the south-west and be swallowed up by the whole freshwater fishing experience.

Freshwater fishers will tell you there is no experience like it, as it is so incredibly different to any other type of fishing. Many people see freshwater fishing as the thing to do if you do not have access to the ocean or a boat. This is far from true, and often fishers become so enveloped with freshwater fishing that they live and breathe it.

Recfishwest strives for great fishing experiences for all in the WA community forever and many of our members feel this passionately about giving back to fishing in WA as well. It is these members that make up Recfishwest’s Freshwater Fishing Reference Group (FFRG) whose combined experience and knowledge go toward providing well-informed advice on behalf of the community around the management of freshwater fishing.

Chair of the FFRG, Ian Sewell, has been a long time avid fisher and works tirelessly with Recfishwest to ensure that there will be sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe freshwater fishing for generations to come.

“This dedicated group allocates where the available trout, which includes, fingerlings, yearlings and ex-brood stock will be stocked for the coming season as well as providing feedback on management issues that may affect this unique fishery.’’ He said.

With a mild wet summer, WA’s Put and Take Trout Fishery is looking set for a great 2017/2018 season. Stream flows have remained good over the summer period which is when most fish face their hardest times. In celebrating our unique freshwater fishing experience, the FFRG are pleased to announce the inaugural community stocking and fishing day, scheduled for September. This event is set to highlight the fantastic fishing available at Drakesbrook weir, where participants will have the opportunity to release trout grown at the hatchery in Pemberton, as well as receiving expert advice and tutelage on freshwater fishing from some of WA’s experts.

Freshwater Reference Group Chair Ian Sewell fishing in New Zealand.

“The community stocking and fishing day will be a great opportunity for families and friends to get along to a regularly stocked waterway to experience what freshwater fishing is all about. For many, this fishery is clouded in mystery where in reality it is all about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA” Ian Sewell said.

For those interested in attending, please keep an eye on the Recfishwest website and social media channels for further information. Recfishwest wishes to acknowledge the fantastic work put in by the FFRG in ensuring the continued success of freshwater fishing in WA.

 

South West Forest Beauty Sets the Stage for Marron Experience

Western Australia’s rugged Jarrah and Karri forests in the South-West will once again play host to the almost 11,000 fishers expected to take part in the much-loved Marron fishery in January.  It is one of the most uniquely West Australian fisheries, offering the chance to catch a feed of tasty native crustaceans in a superb freshwater setting armed with nothing more than a bag of chook pellets, a pole snare or a drop net.  The 2017 season for our native freshwater crayfish runs from noon on January 8 to noon on February 5. The short season reflects the challenges in managing this fishery, which continues to face less than optimal environmental conditions.

The waterways Marron inhabit have been impacted by habitat loss, diminishing water quality and falling rainfall in recent years. Recfishwest identified this issue some years ago, and have since been undertaking a project which will help shape future management of this fishery.  The Future Proofing WA’s Iconic Marron Fishery project was funded by the Federal Government through the Fisheries Research Development Corporation and is a partnership between Ecotone Consulting, Department of Fisheries, Murdoch University and Recfishwest. To date, the project has revealed some fascinating insights into the drivers and aspirations of participants.  Community surveys revealed many people view marroning as a great family activity and environmentally rich experience that they were prepared to travel a long way to undertake. For many Marron fishers the opportunity to socialise with family and friends is more important than actually catching anything.

Concerns raised about the fishery included the state of the environment, length of the season, level of compliance and lack of facilities at popular locations, with the next part of the project to look at how fishing amenity can be improved through stocking and habitat enhancement of Marron.  Marron fishing locations vary from extremely remote to easily accessible depending on how adventurous you are willing or able to be. The natural bush environment in which it occurs makes marroning a great, fun summer activity and the good rains over the 2016 winter should mean the marron will have more water and habitat to move around in this season. This is great news for marroners, after major bushfires played havoc with access to many marron fisheries last summer. 

Scooping, snaring and drop netting are all options for Marron fishers, enabling the participants to tailor their expedition to their preferences and ability.  A licence is required but Marron fishing is affordable and extremely accessible throughout the South-West, with no need for expensive gear or a boat, and it is a safe and enjoyable pastime for families with the bonus of a great feed at the end of the day.

For the advanced marroner wanting a real challenge, there are fisheries which are snare-only and these include the Harvey River (upstream of the highway) and Harvey Dam, Big Brook Dam, Glen Mervyn Dam, Waroona Dam and Logue Brook Dam.

Trophy fisheries with different bag and size limits are the Harvey Dam, Waroona Dam and Hutt River.

Keen to know more about fishing for Marron, Visit: www.ilovefishing.com.au/2015/11/10/marron

Purple Fly Fishing’s Second Year of Smiles

Fly fishing was just what the doctor ordered on a special weekend at Clover Cottage earlier this month. For the second year in succession, fly fishing experts descended on picturesque Clover Cottage, Manjimup, on the banks of the Warren River, to teach 15 ladies from Breast Cancer Care WA the art of fly casting.

The Purple Fly Weekend follows on from the success of last year’s event and previous Pink Fly Fishing Days which were regularly held in Perth. Members of the West Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association were among those who donated their time to offer assistance, in what was a very calm and educational environment for the ladies to learn in. The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer. The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.

Breast Cancer Care WA support staff volunteered their time and were joined by breast cancer clients, with the weekend funded by a Recfishwest Community Grant. The weekend offered participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery. Great weather greeted the group and the ladies enjoyed a dry casting session on the Friday after a bonding session on the bus on the way down from Perth.

After more casting practice, around half a dozen trout were caught by the ladies on the Saturday morning with persistence the key, as for many, this was their first time participating in any form of fishing! Wellness and mindful activities followed, with a sunset fish to round out the day, with more Rainbow Trout taking a liking to the flies as they landed on the surface of the water.

Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Care WA is a Western Australian charity that provides personalised emotional, practical and financial support to people affected by breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Care WA received no government funding and their activities are entirely reliant on the generosity of the Western Australian community. It is famous for the charity event Purple Bra Day, raising funds and awareness for breast cancer clients.
Recfishwest would like to thank all of the community partners who got on board and threw their support behind the Purple Fly Fishing Program, including:

• Clover Cottage
Paul & Petrina Thomsett
• Shimano Australia
Leroy Horton
• Kin Kin Retreat and Farmstay
Leanne & Greg
• Holey Smoke Smoke House
Anthony
• Potato Karri Country Gourmet Potatoes
Samantha and Carlo Pessotto
• Woodgate Wines
Mark
• Bannister Downs Dairy
Sue Daubney
• Farmhouse Pizza – Manjimup
Michelle Pitt
• Innovations Catering
Bob Rawlinson and the team

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA are both not for profit organisations and are always open for new partnerships to help continue and grow the Purple Fly Fishing Program. If your brand or organisation would like to come on board and support this life changing program, please contact Tim at recfish@recfishwest.org.au

2016 Freshwater Season Open – Media Release

7 September 2016
MEDIA RELEASE

More Fish in the Water as Freshwater Season Kicks Off

The 2016 South West freshwater fishing season is looking to be one of the best on record, with healthy amounts of rain providing good stream flows to allow for an awesome fishing experience in this serene and tranquil part of the state.
Recfishwest’s Regional Policy Officer Matt Gillett said that the winter rains will provide support to record numbers of trout being released this year, bred from the highly successful Pemberton Trout Hatchery. This stock will be further supported in their growth by higher water levels and stream flows in recent months.

“In addition, it is predicted that the combination of healthy habitat and healthy brood stock (ex-breeding fish) should provide a flow on effect down the track for better quality fishing into the summer months”, Mr Gillett said.

To provide a more accessible and enjoyable fishing experience for the whole community, those under 16 years of age will no longer be required to hold a South West Freshwater Angling licence, meaning families can enjoy fishing in the South West, without having to worry about licences for the kids.

Recfishwest, through their Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to the Department of Fisheries on appropriate trout stocking locations. “This year key locations include the Warren River, Collie Gorge, Donnelly River, Blackwood River, Lefroy Brook and the Murray River” Mr Gillett said.

Over the past four years over 2.3 million trout fry have been released in the South West as well as approximately 100,000 Rainbow Trout yearlings and over 10,000 Rainbow and Brown trout ex brood stock, proving the value the community place on trout restocking. Fishers will also be able to target feral competitor species such as Redfin Perch without a bag limit as per usual and are urged to not return them to the water when caught but we recommend keeping Redfin as they are a prized table fish known for their tasty white flesh.

The South West Freshwater Season opens on 1 September 2016 and runs until 30 June 2017. For more on previous years stocking locations and numbers, visit http://ilovefishing.com.au/2016/03/21/freshwater-stocking/

Future Proofing WA’s Iconic Marron

A project which will help shape future management of the Marron fishery has revealed some fascinating insights into the drivers and aspirations of participants in this fishery.  The project entitled ‘Future Proofing WA’s Iconic Marron Fishery’ was funded by the Federal Government through the FRDC and is a partnership between Ecotone Consulting, Department of Fisheries, Murdoch University and Recfishwest.

This project has just completed community surveys aimed at gaining a better understanding of what motivates people to go Marron fishing, the social value of the pastime, and what people want from this fishery.  The surveys revealed that many people view marroning as a great family activity and environmentally rich experience that they are prepared to travel a long way to undertake. For many Marron fishers the opportunity to socialise with family and friends is more important than actually catching Marron.

Some of the concerns raised about the fishery included the state of the environment, the length of the season, the level of compliance and lack of facilities (toilets, rubbish disposal) at popular locations.  The second part of the project will look at how fishing amenity can be improved through stocking and habitat enhancement of Marron.

The third part of this project will focus on developing a blueprint for the future management of Marron and will depend on the outcome of the first two parts of the project.

After the success of the recent Pink Snapper restocking in metro waters, along with the stocking activities of Mulloway, Prawns, Black Bream, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Barramundi, Marron just might be the next species we see stocked to boost the enjoyment of all marron fishers.