It’s that time of the year again and many WA fishers are bursting with excitement to whet their freshwater fishing appetite and wet a line.
Scott’s Spots – Waroona and Harvey, two tranquil settings
As we approach the start of spring, Western Angler editor Scott Coghlan explores some of the Peel and South West regions’ quality freshwater fishing locations in this week’s edition of Scott’s Spots. From Waroona to Harvey, there are many terrific spots to catch trout just off the South Western Highway. Continue reading “Scott’s Spots – Waroona and Harvey, two tranquil settings”
Great community project see black bream released into the Murray River
There is something great about seeing popular fishing species being stocked into popular fishing spots. Continue reading “Great community project see black bream released into the Murray River”
Call out for Reef Vision volunteers
Recfishwest puts the call out for artificial reef filming fisher volunteers
Recfishwest is casting out for red-hot keen boat fishers who want to be part of the the marine citizen science program, Reef Vision – the first of its kind in the world.
We’re looking for more volunteers to join the ever-growing and valuable Reef Vision team and help catch valuable footage of the state’s artificial reefs while out fishing.
The Reef Vision Program is made up of passionate fishers from the recreational fishing community who assist Recfishwest map and monitor the growth and development of these fish habitat-enhancement structures in Esperance, Dunsborough, Busselton, Mandurah and Exmouth.
The State’s artificial reefs program driven by Recfishwest, has been developed to provide great fishing opportunities relatively close to shore allowing small boat owners the chance to have better fishing experiences.
Each Reef Vision volunteer is given a BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) camera, and training on how to set up, deploy and retrieve the equipment.
The volunteers drop the cameras near to the reef on their way to their fishing spot and record an hour of video footage of the artificial reefs. This footage is later analysed by Recfishwest, university researchers and students to see what fish are using the reefs and helping us to understand the benefits of artificial reefs and the fish that call them home.
To date, Reef Vision volunteers have collected hundreds of hours of valuable footage from the six artificial reefs monitored in the reef vision program identifying hundreds of different species including dhufish, Samson fish, baldchin groper, pink snapper and large schools of mulloway and red emperor, Rankin cod, queenfish and blue bone.
“I love my fishing here in WA and being part of Reef Vision gives me the chance to give something back. It’s also really cool to see what’s going on down there – there are some amazing things you see” said Reef Vision volunteer Garry Dyer.
Recfishwest’s Research Officer Steph Watts said, “We need to know what’s happening on these reefs, and it’s even more important that the volunteers are enjoying their time collecting the footage for us.
“They’re the backbone of Reef Vision, and we can’t thank them enough,”
Fishers who might be interested in participating and want to know more are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peel Reef Vision – monitoring underway at Mandurah fishing playground
Recfishwest’s world-first marine citizen science program, Reef Vision, is leading the way to monitor the artificial reef off Mandurah. Continue reading “Peel Reef Vision – monitoring underway at Mandurah fishing playground”
Have your Say on Crabs
Crabbing Review to Look After South West Crabs
- Management needed for better protection of female crabs
- Perth to Geographe Bay
- Community to have their say
Recreational fishing surveys since 2011 have consistently shown Blue Swimmer Crabs are far and away the most caught species by fishers around Western Australia.
A discussion paper released by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) on October 25th has called into question the suitability of current management arrangements for Blue Swimmer Crabs on the lower West Coast and highlighted an urgent need to better protect breeding stocks.
The discussion paper highlights a particular concern about the current level of protection provided to mated, pre-spawn female crabs which become highly vulnerable to capture in late autumn, winter and spring. Recfishwest has voiced concerns about the level of protection provided to mated pre-spawn crabs for over a decade.
DPIRD’s discussion paper has considered the following five options for better protecting crab breeding stocks on the lower west coast: :
- Male-only fishery
- Increase in the Minimum Legal Size (MLS)
- Reducing fishing effort for all sectors when female crabs are vulnerable to capture
- Patchwork closures for where female crabs aggregate
- Broad-scale area closures when females are more vulnerable to capture
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said attention is being focused across the entire lower west coast crab resource to ensure all areas of breeding stock vulnerability are addressed and includes all estuaries and ocean fishing for crabs from Perth to Geographe Bay.
“Our priority here are the crabs and looking after important breeding stock,” Dr Rowland said.
“Blue Swimmer Crabs are the most caught species in WA by rec fishers, so it’s important to balance protection of the stock with great community fishing experiences with access to high abundances of crabs.”
In weighing up the options, the Department has identified broad scale seasonal closures (May to Nov) as the most balanced option to achieve the desired objective.
Recfishwest have developed an online survey asking people how they want their crab fisheries managed and protected into the future and we will continue to represent the communities views about how they want this important public resource managed.
Given that these fisheries account for around 90% of the state’s recreational crab catch, we urge you to have your say.
Read the Department’s Discussion Paper here.
Peel Reef Vision – A Great Excuse to Go Fishing!
Recfishwest’s world first marine citizen science program ‘Reef Vision’ is set to launch in the Peel Region in October 2017. It’s only missing one thing – you! To kick off Peel Reef Vision we need passionate and committed fishers to help showcase the development and success of the Mandurah Artificial Reef and do their part for fishing and science.
The Peel Reef Vision Program will build on the two successful and ongoing Reef Vision monitoring programs on the Dunsborough and Bunbury Artificial Reefs.
What is Reef Vision?
Reef Vision is a research project that uses passionate fishers to collect vital and exciting footage of the fish and marine life on artificial reefs to assist in the monitoring and development of the reefs.
“To date, Reef Vision volunteers have collected over 400 hours of valuable footage from 212 videos of the Bunbury and Dunsborough reefs. These videos have revealed over 34,000 individual fish from 82 different species including Dhufish, Samson Fish, Baldchin Groper, Pink Snapper and large schools of Mulloway.”
What the volunteers actually do?
Reef Vision volunteers throw specialised baited underwater camera systems out from their boat and record an hour of video footage over the artificial reefs while they are fishing. This footage is later analysed by university researchers and students to see what fish are using the reefs.
“This was something that I could do to give back to the community, the more the community can do to help out, the better it is for us as fishers and for the future of our fisheries” Reef Vision volunteer Garry Dyer.
Recfishwest’s Research Officer James Florisson says these passionate volunteers are contributing to real science, in an effort to make fishing better in WA. They are the key to this programs success.
“It’s important for us to know what’s happening on these reefs, and it’s even more important that the volunteers are enjoying their time collecting the footage for us; they’re the backbone of Reef Vision and we can’t thank them enough,” James said.
How Do You Get Involved?
If you would like to be involved and participate in the new Peel Reef Vision Program or to find out more about the program, please email email@example.com
Reef Vision Supporters
Recfishwest would like to thank all of our project partners who have assisted with Reef Vision to date and who have offered support for the new Peel Reef Vision program.
The project is supported by the RFIF, DPIRD, FRDC and Ecotone Consulting who assisted in the development of Reef Vision in the South West.
Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club (MOFSC) and Port Bouvard Recreation and Sporting Club have dedicated the time and effort to not only assist with establishing Reef Vision in the Peel Region but who were also involved in the early stages, including site selection and deployment of the Mandurah Artificial Reef. MOFSC members will assist in monitoring for Peel Reef Vision.
Alcoa have thrown their support behind establishing Peel Reef Vision by providing camera equipment and technology, as well as staff who have assisted in trials for the project. Alcoa volunteer Chris Daou says he’s been fishing and monitoring the Bunbury and Dunsborough reefs since the beginning and he’s been amazed to see how they have developed.
“Having the opportunity to assist in trialing Reef Vision in the Peel Region has provided me with great insight into how science can be used to benefit the environment, fish and fishing,” Chris said.
Murdoch University and Curtin University are research partners with Reef Vision. Data collected on the reefs is analysed by university researchers and students.
Men Shed Forrestdale and First Marine have been getting involved in Artificial Reefs by lending their experience and knowledge to help make and improve equipment for Artificial Reef monitoring for the Reef Vision volunteers.
Dunsborough Outdoor Sportz and Whitey’s Tackle Australind kindly provided equipment and prizes which has enabled volunteers to collect footage of these reefs using the baited underwater cameras, both stores have been very supportive and important partners.
Most importantly, thank you to all the volunteers whose efforts and dedication to the cause are a major factor to the success of Reef Vision!
Murray River suffers widespread fish kill with 30,000 fish dead
There are no stronger advocates for healthy aquatic environments than recreational fishers. Continue reading “Murray River suffers widespread fish kill with 30,000 fish dead”