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”
With this week marking the lifting of the west coast demersal closure, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have released the latest stock assessment science.
We hope those of you who have already headed out to try and bag yourself a dhuie, pinkie or a baldie have managed to get amongst ‘em.
It’s been 10 years since wholesale rule changes were brought in to recover some of these species after all the research showed the stocks were in strife. Since those changes were implemented, recfishers have played our part – a big part – in sticking to the rules designed to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the catch from 2005/6 levels and recover these slow-growing species’ stocks within a 20-year timeframe.
Now we are at the recovery plan’s mid-way point, the Department have released a west coast demersal update based on their latest research.
Good stewardship pays off
It will come as no surprise to many of us who target bottom fish in the metro and the South West that there are some good signs with many more, smaller dhuies being seen in the last few years. This is certainly grounds for cautious optimism, showing that our good work and stewardship, sticking to bag and size limits, and the annual two-month closure, is paying off.
However, we’re not out of the woods yet with the research showing limited evidence of recovery for demersal scalefish stocks in the Mid-West and Kalbarri areas. In addition, there appears to be few older dhuies and pinkies in the Department’s samples from across the whole bioregion (Kalbarri down to Augusta).
This shows there is still away to go and, while the recovery is progressing well, we need to keep doing what we’re doing to ensure the recovery stays on track.
That means doing everything we can to ensure released fish go back healthily. Barotrauma can impact on these species significantly, with the research summary showing that ‘post-release mortality’ – fish dying after being released – is potentially having an impact on the recovery.
So, it’s imperative to handle the fish carefully and use release weights to give them the best chance of going back well, if returning them.
It also highlights why catch and release fishing for demersals is not OK and once you’ve hit your bag limit, it’s important to move on and target other species like pelagics and squid.
Clearly, the Department needs to keep gathering scientific evidence to monitor the recovery’s progress. And this is also where we can all play a big part by donating some of our demersal frames to the Department’s Send Us Your Skeletons sampling program.
The more samples the scientists get – the clearer and more robust picture they can build of the stocks’ health. So do the right thing by the fish and help the Department collect more samples by donating some of your frames to science (you can keep the wings and the cheeks – they just need the heads and the guts intact).
So, we hope you get to bag a demersal or two for Christmas – but let’s continue to work together to ensure the recovery continues to progress and that there will be plenty of these fantastic fish to go at for us and for future generations of West Aussie fishers.
Premier Mark McGowan and Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly have joined Recfishwest at Harvey Dam for a marron stocking event, announcing a trial stocking program that will see 300,000 marron released into South West dams in the next three years. Continue reading “A big step forward to year-round marroning”
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.
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.
More than 650,000 barramundi fingerlings have been stocked since the project was announced back in 2012.
We’re pleased to report that more than 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.
Lake Kununurra: A world-class barra playground
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!
Hundreds of families turned out to release thousands of juvenile Pink Snapper on the 10th of February at Snapper Guardians 2018. The perfect weather conditions allowed kids and parents to get right in the water and watch their fish swim off into the wild.
So far over 100,000 Pink Snapper have been grown out and released through the Snapper Guardians program.
This program is continuing to build community stewardship for one of WA’s iconic species.
Cockburn Sound’s Pink Snapper stocks are one of the most important fisheries in WA as these waters are home to the largest spawning aggregations of snapper on the West Coast.
“Fishing for Pink Snapper off the Perth coast is continually improving and there’s no reason why this fishery couldn’t be the best Pink Snapper fishery in Australia.” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly was once again on the beach seeing first-hand how important this event is to the community, especially the children, many of whom got the chance to release their very first fish providing a positive experience that will stay with them for a lifetime.
“It was fantastic to join the hundreds of mums, dads, kids and avid fishers down at the beach for such a fun and important recreational fishing initiative.
Recreational fishing is an important part of WA’s way of life and an important economic driver. Which is why the McGowan Government supports recreational fishing projects through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.
Each and every licence holder contributes to this fund with 25 percent of recreational licence fees placed into this fund.
I congratulate Recfishwest and Fisheries staff at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development for their hard work on this project.”
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland expressed what his team are working so hard to protect.
“As your peak body organisation representing you, it’s our role to stand up and protect important waterways around WA such as Cockburn Sound’s Pink Snapper spawning grounds.” Dr Rowland said.
“We know there’s been a long running history of competing uses in the sound and getting the balance right will always be a challenge. Programs like Snapper Guardians play an important role in highlighting the importance of Cockburn Sound to our sector.”
“The team at Recfishwest would like to thank the hundreds of families that came down and did their bit for Pink Snapper in Cockburn Sound. We’re always thrilled to see the community rolling up their sleeves and making a difference!”
Snapper Guardians 2018 was made possible through funding from the State Government and the ongoing support of the WA community.
After the success of last years event, Recfishwest would like to invite you once again to be part of something special and help us release trout by hand and celebrate all things freshwater fishing.
Event details: Saturday 1st September 2018
Starts at 10am to 1:30pm
Drakesbrook Weir, Weir Rd Waroona 6215
What to bring: the whole family with an appetite for fun! You’re welcome to also bring your own rods, lures, sunscreen, hats, weather proof clothing and picnic sets.
The day will include:
- Trout Stocking – help us release over 2000 trout into the dam by hand
- Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages (30 rods provided) – Members of the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Fishing Association will be on hand to teach you all about fishing in freshwater, along with our Recfishwest Fishing Clinic Instructors and NextWave Future Leaders Team Members
- Fly Fishing Casting Demos – ever wanted to try your hand at fly casting? What better way to learn than from some of the WA’s top fly casters!
- Freshwater Tackle and Rigging Information and Demonstrations – Learn all you need to know about tackle and rigging for freshwater fishing
- Sausage sizzle and soft drinks hosted by the Waroona Lions Club
LICENCE FREE DAY Registrations FREE but essential.
Recfishwest’s first ever TroutFest was held on September 2, 2017. The event was a raging success, with thousands of Rainbow Trout being released into Drakesbrook Weir. The community came out in force as an estimated 500 people, comprising of mums, dads, kids, grandparents and fishing lovers, turned up to celebrate freshwater fishing. During the event there was a release of thousands of fingerlings, 400 yearlings and 70 ex-broodstock, these fish were a portion of the 600,000 fish that have been released this year by the Department of Primary Industries Regional Development, Fisheries Division.
TroutFest was a celebration of freshwater fishing and encouraged families and friends to head to a regularly stocked waterway and experience what freshwater fishing is all about. For many, this fishery was clouded in mystery, but after TroutFest participants realised it is about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA.
As well as the fish release, the event also included Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages, an education display by Fisheries, Fly Casting, Freshwater Tackle & Rigging Information and Demonstrations and general fishing time for everyone to have a go at freshwater fishing, and for most, it was the very first time.
Recfishwest would like to thank the members of WATFAA for sharing their passion of fly fishing with people on the day as well all of the other volunteers that attended and made TroutFest a memorable experience for all those involved.
TroutFest promotes sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and will help encourage freshwater fishing in the South West.
TroutFest is just one of many Recfishwest lead initiatives working towards improving habitat and fish stocks which build better environments that support your fishing.