A New Marine Park in the South-west, When Did That Happen?

Recfishwest have received feedback from a number of fishers who have recently travelled to the states South-west in search of a salmon only to find their favourite fishing spot is now part of the Ngari Capes Marine Park. This confusion is hardly surprising given the community has heard very little about this park since consultation was first undertaken well over a decade ago.

The Ngari Capes Marine Park starts about 5km to the east of Augusta and covers the entire Capes region, finishing half way between Capel and Busselton. The management zones for this park were put in place in 2018. Following a 12-month grace period, enforcement of the new fishing regulations has coincided with the start of the salmon season and this has caught many fishers off-guard.

Recfishwest made its first submission on the Ngari Capes Marine Park in 2004 and many passionate fishers in the South-west made excellent contributions during the less than perfect community consultation process. Without the input from Recfishwest and these passionate fishers, the park we see today would have had many more fishing restrictions.

Recfishwest believes recreational fishing is largely compatible with the conservation objectives of marine parks and is an activity that must be recognised as a key value when formulating management plans.

Like most fishers, Recfishwest support marine parks when they are created for the right reasons, put in the right places and implemented using simple, practical management that is risk-based, transparent and subject to regular review.

To read Recfishwest’s position on marine parks, click here.

Regardless of the process used to create the Ngari Capes Marine Park, the new regulations are now being enforced. It is the responsibility of all fishers to know what type of fishing you can do in each of the parks 15 sanctuary zones, 12 special purpose zones and 2 recreation zones. Whilst most of the Ngari Capes Marine Park still allows fishing, it is important to keep up to date by visiting either the DBCA or DPIRD website or by downloading the Recfishwest App.

The free Recfishwest smartphone app now has a new mapping feature identifying marine park zones that have some form of fishing restriction. The maps are downloadable to your phone, so once you leave phone range you can still view the maps at the touch of a button. When open, the app also sends you notifications once you enter and exit a marine park zone that has different fishing rules.

To unlock these new features, please update your Recfishwest App in the App Store.

For Iphone, click here.

For Android, click here.

Click here to view Ngari capes zoning and permitted uses.

While the process used to create the Ngari Capes Marine Park was far from perfect, Recfishwest was pleased to hear the government earlier this year announced a new and transparent community consultation process for the creation of any new marine parks. Recfishwest have been calling for greater consultation during the marine planning processes for a number of years and hopefully this new process will ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated in the future. It’s vital that all of us engage at every opportunity. This will ensure what’s important to us is recognised as part of marine planning processes. To read about the new consultation process click here.

Breaking News – Crab Review

BREAKING NEWS!

A discussion paper release by DPIRD this afternoon calls into question the resilience of crab breeding stocks under current management arrangements and highlights an urgent need to better protect breeding stock.

Recreational fishing surveys since 2011 have clearly shown the blue swimmer crab is far and away the most caught species by fishers around Western Australia.

Particular concerns focus on increasing the protection for mated, pre-spawn female crabs which become highly vulnerable to capture in late autumn, winter and spring.

Recfishwest has held similar concerns for over a decade.

The Department have presented the following options for consideration:
1. Male-only fishery
2. Increase in the Minimum Legal Size (MLS)
3. Reducing fishing effort for all sectors when female crabs are vulnerable to capture
4. Patchwork closures for where female crabs aggregate
5. Broad-scale area closures when females are more vulnerable to capture

Attention is being focussed across the entire 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.

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.

We are pleased to have the opportunity to put forward the community’s views.
Once we have fully digested the discussion paper, we will publish a short online survey, summarising the options and seeking your feedback.

Given that these fisheries account for around 90% of the state’s recreational crab catch, we urge you to have your say.

See the discussion paper summary here: http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/…/public_comme…/fmp288-summary.pdf

Recfishwest’s Top Lure Picks for Beach Fishing for Salmon

Catching Salmon from world class beaches is one of the most iconic WA fishing activities you and your family can have. Launching a lure into a huge school of Salmon only 30 metres from the beach gives every fisher, novice or pro, a tremendous thrill and one which never seems to gets old.

A salmon spotted swimming through a wave well within casting range from the beach. (Photo courtesy of Tony Tropiano).

Check out how easy it is to catch a salmon from the beach, click here.

Lure fishing for Salmon on world class West Australian beaches has many great benefits:

  • No need for stinky bait and cheaper than buying bait all the time
  • You can cast further and be amongst the action by putting your lure in the zone
  • Adds to the ‘Sportfishing’ element
  • Great way to get the kids into lure fishing
  • No skill needed in regards to lure movement or techniques
  • Great method for catch and release fishing

So with that in mind, we’ve come up with the top Salmon lures you and your family must have this season.

Salmon Lure Criteria:

  • Castability: (Beach Casting Only)
  • Price: Affordable for Everyone
  • Catchability: Does it Actually Catch Fish

Halco Twisty

Photo credit: Halco Tackle

The curved ends of the famous Twisty create an enticing action like no other metal lure. From a slow wobbling retrieve to a high-speed splashing retrieve, this lure is truly versatile. The Twisty Chrome has an incredibly realistic baitfish profile that has proven itself in both salt and freshwater.

Castability: 4/5
Price: 5/5 (approx. $5 – $10)
Catchability: 5/5

Other Species: Tailor, Herring, Bonito, Tuna, Trevalley, Queenfish, Freshwater Trout, Mackerel

How to Fish Them: For best results, vary speed and angle of retrieve, and choose different colours to match the available baitfish in the area. The Twisty Chrome comes in a range of weights.  Constructed with a shiny chrome body, anglers have the choice of either a chrome, gold, green, or red holographic variety in a weight from 1.5g up to 70g.

Richter Plug

Photo credit: Richter Lures

The Richter Plug is a simple yet effective lure that is nearly indestructible. Favoured among anglers for its great action on the retrieve this lure is the go to in any condition. With their slim profile and weight, they make a great long-distance casting lure that can be fired out like a torpedo and this can be crucial when trying to reach distant schools of cruising salmon on southern beaches. Whether you’re casting into open clear water or around rocky reef structures, this is one lure you can’t do without this Salmon season.

 

 

Castability: 5/5
Price: 5/5 (approx. $5-$10)
Catchability: 5/5

Other Species: Tailor, Herring, Bonito, Tuna, Trevally, Queenfish, Kingfish, Mackerel

How to Fish Them: They can be fished as either a sinking stickbait or a surface lure or both during the same retrieve! Retrieve them fast to create a frantic baitfish surface splash action or slow the retrieve down and watch it dart around just under the surface.

Available in White, Red Head, Chartreuse, Pink and Yellow, and in five sizes from 28 grams through to 140 grams – sized from 138mm to 78mm.

Spanyid Raider

Photo credit: Spanyid

Along with the Halco Twisty, Raider metal lures are one of the most versatile fishing products ever designed and are useful for many fishing applications. Not only do these lures work in all water depths, they are effective in all aspects of lure use. The range of sizes match most baitfish profiles. Their range of weights means they have multiple fishing applications but do their best work being cast off a beach at a hungry waiting school of Salmon.

Castability: 5/5
Price: 5/5 (approx. $5 – $10)
Catchability: 5/5

Other Species: Tailor, Herring, Bonito, Tuna, Trevalley, Queenfish, Kingfish, Mackerel

How to Fish Them: For best results, vary speed and angle of retrieve, and choose different colours to match the available baitfish in the area. The angled design allows for maximum casting distance, a ‘dart and weave’ motion on the retrieve at all but slow speeds for spinning.

Constructed with a shiny chrome body, anglers have the choice of nine sizes ranging from 10g upto 200g

Catch More Salmon this Season: https://ilovefishing.com.au/2015/11/06/salmon/

So what Salmon lure is the best? What do you buy?

The answer is obvious,  you can never have enough lures for all forms of fishing.  Recfishwest’s suggestion is to buy one of each and try for yourself. Different lures will work best with different rod and reel setups. With the lures we’ve reviewed being so affordable and proven to catch Salmon, it won’t break the bank if you buy one of each and make up your own mind! 

Have you caught a Salmon on one of the lures above? Send us your pics! Email them to info@recfishwest.org.au

Sign the Petition to Save Canal Rocks Boat Ramp

Click HERE to sign the petition to save Canal Rocks Boat Ramp!

The recreational fishing community has been angered over the past few weeks as plans to close an important boat ramp in the South-West region became apparent. 

Canal Rocks Boat Ramp, near Yallingup, has provided fishers access to important local fishing spots for decades. Recently, however, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is considering closing the ramp, citing safety concerns.

This has been met with anger and frustration from both local and visiting fishers who are set to lose access to one of the South-West’s most loved aquatic playgrounds.

Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell who spoke at the rally to hundreds of concerned locals , said the peak body is disappointed not to have been consulted and that all options to keep the ramp open are not being considered.

”We will advocate for the ramp to remain open as it is actually one of the safest ramps in the region and DBCA claims about safety simply don’t add up.”

“The Department of Biodiversity, Conservations and Attractions claim this ramp doesn’t meet Australian Standards (exposure to waves greater than 20cm) however, the standards they are choosing to apply are for boat ramps within marinas, not oceanic ramps. If the government applied this standard to all oceanic boat ramps in Western Australia then over 90% of these ramps would be closed. This is simply not acceptable and cannot go unchallenged.”

“While Recfishwest has a strong track record in advocating for fishing safety, we recognise people must take personal responsibility. It is not the Government’s role to protect the community from every conceivable risk, but it is the Governement’s role to provide the basic community infrastructure required to support our culture and lifestyle.” Mr Campbell said.

“The fishing public of Western Australia accept the risks associated with operating a vessel anywhere in our state, including using discretion to assess any ramp for a safe launch and retrieve.”

Recfishwest believe access to high-quality experiences, including fishing, are paramount to the West Australian lifestyle and must be maintained.

Local fisher Glenn Wakelam can’t believe the ramp is being considered for closure.

“This is such a popular ramp during the summer months. On a nice day, it is not unusual to find over 20 trailers in the carpark.”

“Canal Rocks Boat Ramp has been used by the public for decades and the wave height has not changed over that time.”

“People aren’t stupid if the swell is too big, they don’t use the ramp.” Mr Wakelan said

Recfishwest has written to the Environment Minister urging him to reconsider this decision but we need your help to ensure the message is heard loud and clear.

What can you do to help?

1. Sign the petition, HERE.
2. Contact your local MP, and tell them how important it is that we have recreational boating facilities around our great state. Whilst you may not launch at Canal Rocks, your local ramp could be next on the list.
3. Tell everyone you know. The more we can let decision makers know how important access to great fishing experiences is to us, the better our chances of a decision in our favour.

Freshwater Licence Free Weekend & Recfishwest’s TroutFest

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced Western Australians can go freshwater fishing in the State’s South-West, licence-free next weekend (September 2-3, 2017).

The special weekend will celebrate the opening of the freshwater fishing season on September 1 and give people the chance to try their hand at freshwater angling for free.” Minister Kelly said.

“The State Government is committed to supporting the recreational fishing industry which is an important economic driver for WA. That is why the State Government is giving Western Australians the chance to go fishing in the South-West on September 2 and 3 without the need for a freshwater fishing licence.”

This event aims to be the Freshwater version of Snapper Guardians – a fun day out for the whole family to enjoy!

To celebrate the Minister’s announcement, Recfishwest is running ‘TroutFest’, a  great opportunity for families to spend quality time together outdoors and have a go at freshwater fishing, just in time for Father’s Day!

Recfishwest is teaming up with The Western Australian Trout & Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA), to run Perth’s biggest family freshwater event, TroutFest.

This event is set to highlight the fantastic fishing available at Drakesbrook Weir, where participants will have the opportunity to release trout grown at the hatchery in Pemberton. Trout are stocked every year by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and this year the public get to participate directly in improving freshwater fishing experiences.

Event details:
• Saturday 2nd of September 2017
• Starts at 10.00 am to 1.30 pm
• Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona.

The event will be held at the freshwater fishing hotspot Drakesbrook Weir

The day will include:
• Trout Stocking
• Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages
• Fly Casting
• Freshwater Tackle & Rigging Information and Demonstrations

TroutFest will be a great occasion for families and friends to get along to a regularly stocked waterway to experience what freshwater fishing is all about. Participants will also have access to WATFAA members who will provide expert advice and tutelage during their fly and lure casting lessons and tackle and rigging demonstrations.

For many, this fishery is clouded in mystery, where in reality it is all about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA. So why not bring the family along and be a part of something special?

TroutFest promotes sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and will help encourage freshwater fishing in the South West.

Due to the popularity of this event, registrations are essential so Recfishwest can provide the best possible experience for you and your family. So please register here

View the flyer here

For more on Fishing for Freshwater Trout, visit I Love Fishing here.

To view the Minister’s Media Statement, click here.

Pemberton Trout Hatchery

South West Forest Beauty Sets the Stage for Marron Experience

Western Australia’s rugged Jarrah and Karri forests in the South-West will once again play host to the almost 11,000 fishers expected to take part in the much-loved Marron fishery in January.  It is one of the most uniquely West Australian fisheries, offering the chance to catch a feed of tasty native crustaceans in a superb freshwater setting armed with nothing more than a bag of chook pellets, a pole snare or a drop net.  The 2017 season for our native freshwater crayfish runs from noon on January 8 to noon on February 5. The short season reflects the challenges in managing this fishery, which continues to face less than optimal environmental conditions.

The waterways Marron inhabit have been impacted by habitat loss, diminishing water quality and falling rainfall in recent years. Recfishwest identified this issue some years ago, and have since been undertaking a project which will help shape future management of this fishery.  The Future Proofing WA’s Iconic Marron Fishery project was funded by the Federal Government through the Fisheries Research Development Corporation and is a partnership between Ecotone Consulting, Department of Fisheries, Murdoch University and Recfishwest. To date, the project has revealed some fascinating insights into the drivers and aspirations of participants.  Community surveys revealed many people view marroning as a great family activity and environmentally rich experience that they were prepared to travel a long way to undertake. For many Marron fishers the opportunity to socialise with family and friends is more important than actually catching anything.

Concerns raised about the fishery included the state of the environment, length of the season, level of compliance and lack of facilities at popular locations, with the next part of the project to look at how fishing amenity can be improved through stocking and habitat enhancement of Marron.  Marron fishing locations vary from extremely remote to easily accessible depending on how adventurous you are willing or able to be. The natural bush environment in which it occurs makes marroning a great, fun summer activity and the good rains over the 2016 winter should mean the marron will have more water and habitat to move around in this season. This is great news for marroners, after major bushfires played havoc with access to many marron fisheries last summer. 

Scooping, snaring and drop netting are all options for Marron fishers, enabling the participants to tailor their expedition to their preferences and ability.  A licence is required but Marron fishing is affordable and extremely accessible throughout the South-West, with no need for expensive gear or a boat, and it is a safe and enjoyable pastime for families with the bonus of a great feed at the end of the day.

For the advanced marroner wanting a real challenge, there are fisheries which are snare-only and these include the Harvey River (upstream of the highway) and Harvey Dam, Big Brook Dam, Glen Mervyn Dam, Waroona Dam and Logue Brook Dam.

Trophy fisheries with different bag and size limits are the Harvey Dam, Waroona Dam and Hutt River.

Keen to know more about fishing for Marron, Visit: www.ilovefishing.com.au/2015/11/10/marron

2016 Freshwater Season Open – Media Release

7 September 2016
MEDIA RELEASE

More Fish in the Water as Freshwater Season Kicks Off

The 2016 South West freshwater fishing season is looking to be one of the best on record, with healthy amounts of rain providing good stream flows to allow for an awesome fishing experience in this serene and tranquil part of the state.
Recfishwest’s Regional Policy Officer Matt Gillett said that the winter rains will provide support to record numbers of trout being released this year, bred from the highly successful Pemberton Trout Hatchery. This stock will be further supported in their growth by higher water levels and stream flows in recent months.

“In addition, it is predicted that the combination of healthy habitat and healthy brood stock (ex-breeding fish) should provide a flow on effect down the track for better quality fishing into the summer months”, Mr Gillett said.

To provide a more accessible and enjoyable fishing experience for the whole community, those under 16 years of age will no longer be required to hold a South West Freshwater Angling licence, meaning families can enjoy fishing in the South West, without having to worry about licences for the kids.

Recfishwest, through their Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to the Department of Fisheries on appropriate trout stocking locations. “This year key locations include the Warren River, Collie Gorge, Donnelly River, Blackwood River, Lefroy Brook and the Murray River” Mr Gillett said.

Over the past four years over 2.3 million trout fry have been released in the South West as well as approximately 100,000 Rainbow Trout yearlings and over 10,000 Rainbow and Brown trout ex brood stock, proving the value the community place on trout restocking. Fishers will also be able to target feral competitor species such as Redfin Perch without a bag limit as per usual and are urged to not return them to the water when caught but we recommend keeping Redfin as they are a prized table fish known for their tasty white flesh.

The South West Freshwater Season opens on 1 September 2016 and runs until 30 June 2017. For more on previous years stocking locations and numbers, visit http://ilovefishing.com.au/2016/03/21/freshwater-stocking/

Safety First This Salmon Season

March 2016

It is salmon season again in the South-West and the schools are on the move. Recfishwest is encouraging recreational fishers to fish from the beach for salmon, rather than rocks, wherever possible. Salmon move in large schools and often track very close to shore, they are usually within casting range of even the least experienced of beach anglers.

Catching a salmon from the beach is a world-class fishing experience and there are few things better than seeing a 4-6kg fish slide up onto the sand. Beach fishing is also a much better option for anyone wanting to catch and release some of these magnificent sportfish. Most importantly though, personal safety is not as much of an issue from the sand and there are countless locations suitable for beach fishing.

At the moment there are big numbers of salmon being caught from Esperance to Perth. There are many great beach fishing locations throughout the South-West. The south side and West End at Rottnest Island often hold fish, while Point Peron can produce salmon at times, as can the North Mole, with boat anglers doing well in Cockburn Sound and around Mewstones and Stragglers.  The Ammo Jetty has also been very popular this season with large amounts of salmon being caught, however it has also received a lot of negative publicity after pictures of salmon laying on the jetty were shown on social media. Fortunately this behaviour is not the norm and is changing with information being provided to fishers and volunteers on site. Recfishwest encourage all fishers to respect their catch, other fishers and the environment.  Around Mandurah, the White Hills to Preston stretch can offer great salmon fishing at times and offers fishers the chance to drive along the beach looking for passing schools. The sheltered bays around Dunsborough are famous for their salmon fishing as the schools pass through, with Bunker Bay and Rocky Point the most consistent locations. There will be plenty of fish between the Capes, and Hamelin Bay is one of the great salmon fishing spots for those with a 4WD.

Along the south coast, there are countless fine salmon fishing locations including the mouth of the Warren River, Windy Harbour, Parry’s Beach, Bornholm, Nanarup, Cheynes Beach and Foster’s Beach.  As salmon schools are constantly moving, patience is a virtue and you often need to wait for the fish to pass by. The great thing about salmon is they can be caught with just about any method, including bait, lure and fly.  Mulies are a top bait and easily fished on a set of ganged hooks on a weighted or unweighted rig, depending on location and conditions. If catching and releasing salmon it is recommended that fishers use single hooks on lures and single or snelled hooks with bait to maximise the salmon’s chance of survival. Any lure that does a good imitation of a mulie is a chance to catch fish, especially minnow lures.  Surface poppers, stickbaits and soft plastics also catch plenty of fish and the visual aspect of surface fishing is hard to beat for many anglers. Big metals are also an important part of the angler’s armoury, as they enable long casts to schools sitting well off the shore.

If keeping your fish Recfishwest encourages fishers to dispatch the fish quickly and thoroughly and put it on ice, clean your fishing area and put your rubbish in the bin.

If you would like to know more on salmon click here.