Recreational fishers who catch Barramundi in Lake Kununurra are being asked to report catches to Recfishwest and the Kimberley Training Institute (KTI).
Another 130,000 Barramundi, around 4-5cm in size, were released into the lake last month, bringing the total of fish released through the current restocking program to over 530,000 in the last four years. These latest fish were marked with dye so they can be identified.
The restocking program for Lake Kununurra is supported by Recfishwest and has been achieved with fish bred at the KTI in Broome.
Another 20,000 bigger fish will be released shortly, to complete the initial restocking program.
The latest batch were released near Crossing Falls, an area which boasts extensive wetland weed systems, good access to deep water and access to get the trailer and fish close to the water.
There have been reports of fish to 80cm being caught in the lake, and we want to know about any catches, to help gauge the success of the program.
It is hoped the restocking will pave the way for a world-class impoundment fishery for Barramundi in Kununurra.
Importantly, the KTI has exceeded initial targets for the restocking, and been able to do it ahead of schedule, with support from the Department of Parks and Wildlife and Department of Transport.
The program is funded by the Kimberley Science Conservation Strategy, through the Department of Fisheries and is supported by Recfishwest. We look forward to continued restocking activities in the East Kimberley.
Recfishwest today said the release of the new Roebuck Bay Marine Park Indicative Management Plan provides a win for both conservation and the community, especially as it celebrates the role recreational fishing plays in the Kimberley.
Recfishwest CEO, Dr Andrew Rowland said the new marine park demonstrates that recreational fishing is compatible with marine conservation.
“We are pleased to see management activities focused on conserving the values that underpin good quality fishing experiences and where shared access can be enjoyed by all,” Dr Rowland said.
“We’ve already seen important conservation activities in the Kimberley, namely the stocking of the iconic Barramundi, where recreational fishers are giving back to help maintain a sustainable fishery.”
The new management plan is also important in fulfilling the cultural aspirations of the Yawuru people who will play a significant role in the planned joint management arrangements of this park.
“This type of management will bring the community closer together as it provides opportunities to share cultures around fishing.”
The management arrangements in this marine park complement the government’s 2013 decision to purchase all of Roebuck Bay’s commercial netting licences under the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.
Broome Fishing Club President Derek Albert said fishing in Roebuck Bay has never been better.
“The Bay is a world class fishing location, providing fantastic opportunities for safe and enjoyable fishing experiences for the whole community” Mr Albert said.
To read Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s Media Statement, click here.
AROUND 100,000 Barramundi fingerlings around 70-100mm in length were released into Lake Kununurra late last month, March 2013.
The latest stocking by the Kimberley Training Institute in Broome is part of the ongoing program to create a world-class impoundment fishery in Kununurra. There have now been close to 400,000 barramundi stocked into Lake Kununurra since the program started early in 2013.
The good news that there are reports of small barra of around the size that would be expected after the stockings being caught. Fish from 45-60cm in size have been caught in the Lake, which is in line in what was hoped for at this stage.
As have proven by barra stockings over east, success can be a lengthy process, with the stocking of Lake Tinnaroo taking more than five years to reap full dividends. More stockings in Lake Kununurra are planned for later this year and rec fishers are already starting to see the benefits of having a developing world class sports fishery on their doorstep!