More Barra Stocked into Lake Kununurra

When barramundi were first stocked into Lake Kununurra in 2013, not many people imagined the quality of fishing that the lake would produce in such a short amount of time.

Hon. Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly, Recfishwest CEO and North Regional TAFE Portfolio Manager Jeff Cooper at the stocking event today. Photo credit: ABC Kimberley

The abundance of baitfish and lack of predators within Lake Kununurra saw barramundi reaching one metre in length within three years of age! Any barramundi over one metre is a phenomenal fish and a bucket list target for many fishers.

Lake Kununurra is evolving into a sensational destination for anglers to chase their first barra and is a bona fide big-barra waterway that continues to produce trophy sized fish.

The stocking of Lake Kununurra has forged the waterway into perhaps WA’s best barramundi fishery. Over 650,000 barramundi fingerlings have been stocked since the project was announced back in 2012.

We’re pleased to report that over 100,000 more barramundi fingerlings have been stocked into Lake Kununurra this year, including many at today’s stocking event. This year’s stocking was funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, adding to the number of great projects funded using recreational fishing licence money. Read what the Fisheries Minister had to say about today’s stocking here.

Over 650,000 barramundi fingerlings have been stocked since the project was announced back in 2012

As planned, Lake Kununurra is now regarded as a world class trophy barramundi fishery (plus there are no saltwater crocs or huge Kimberley tides to deal with). If these monsters continue to grow as expected it won’t be long before the Lake could hold Australia’s biggest barra. If you want to keep up to date with the latest catches, check out Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking Group on Facebook.

If you ever find yourself lucky enough to explore the Kimberley, ensure you visit Kununurra and test your luck tracking down an iconic barramundi on the lake’s calm protected waters. Catching a big barra is a quintessential Kimberly experience and Lake Kununurra is now one of the best places to do it!

Visitors and locals are reporting fantastic catches coming from the lake! Photo credit: Northbound Charters
As planned, Lake Kununurra is now regarded as a world class trophy barramundi fishery. Photo credit: Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking Group.

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