From the excitement of patrolling the banks and peering into the clear water looking for marron, the contagious laughter as a marron shoots between someone’s legs while snaring or the celebrations upon capturing a prized ‘mossback’, marron fishing can be highly infectious and by the time you get home, you can already be thirsting for the next adventure.
The 2019 season saw keen marroners make the most of the 29 day’s available with many licence holders making multiple trips to the states Southwest to target these tasty freshwater crustaceans. While the season is short, an estimated 20,000 individual days are spent marroning, providing a significant economic boost to regional towns in the South-West. Those who do make multiple trips usually concentrate their efforts on locations closer to home; such as Harvey, Wellington and Waroona Dams.
The 2019 marron season saw more than 10,000 marron license holders catch over 50,000 marron over the four week fishing period. Nathan Harrison, DPIRD Director of Aquatic Resource Management said “the majority of recreational fishers do the right thing and treat the marron stocks with a sense of personal responsibility and stewardship. That stewardship is vital in keeping the fishery sustainable.”
Marroning is a great experience that many fishers prefer to share as a group, hunting along the banks with your friends or family is sensational fun.
Often the simple things we take for granted during a trip can rival the fishing itself! Conversations with friends and family, the breakfast cook up with fog rolling off your breath during the cool mornings, or even the sunsets and sunrises that materialize over the horizons in splendid shades of colour. These unique traits to marroning help to build a lasting memory that can often be triggered by the simple things like the distinctive smell of these freshwater systems during each years return trip.
Marron are important to Southwest waterways and in order to secure their future the Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre has been running marron breeding trials as part of a project being undertaken by Ecotone Consulting in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest. Funded by the Commonwealth Government these trials aim at using stocking enhancement to help secure healthy populations of marron in the more popular waterways and accessible locations such as Harvey Dam, located only one and a half hours drive from Perth.
It’s important that we begin to investigate different opportunities in this space, given that a drying climate will almost certainly place increased pressure on marron stocks going forward. We believe stocking is one way to relieve some of this pressure in the long term. The recent community stocking effort of 5,500 marron in Harvey dam at the start of the marron season was aimed at doing just this.
Successful stocking activities such as this could see the marron season open for longer to give fishers a greater chance of getting out targeting marron, and hopefully a better chance of bringing themselves home a feed.
As the 2019 season is now over, we can look back fondly on the fun and excitement it brought us and look forward to the 2020 season where we can once again create marroning memories with our friends and family along the banks of the Southwest waterways.