Lots of Kids, Lots of Fish, Lots of Fun and a 16kg Mulloway

Well that’s a wrap! We’d like to thank everyone that joined us over the weekend for our annual family friendly fishing event, Swanfish.

First time fishing for participant Tully

Swanfish is Perth’s biggest community fishing event on the Swan River. Now in its 34th year Swanfish encourages families to get outdoors and enjoy the magnificent Swan-Canning River.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said ”often we can take for granted what’s right in front of our eyes, but hundreds of people joined us on the weekend, showing us how important the river system is to our community.”

‘’The Swan River is the jewel in our city’s crown, and our annual Swanfish event promotes the community’s connection to the river through fishing.’’

A healthy 25cm black bream

Hundreds of families registered this year, with over 188 adults and 84 children fishing anywhere between the Fremantle Traffic Bridge right up past Guildford. Fishers targeted 19 different species including blue swimmer crabs around the old Swan Brewery, herring and flounder in the lower reaches around Fremantle along with tarwhine along the channel drop-offs.

Some fishers ventured out in the dark to target mulloway in the deeper holes of the river, or braved the early mornings for bream amongst the snags and some chased flathead on the flats.

A healthy river means healthy fish stocks and with more than 270 fish caught and released during this year’s event the river showed why it is a favourite with fishers.

To view the stats from 2019 click here.

Noteworthy catches included the heaviest mulloway at an impressive 16kg for Tom Schuiling, a superb 46cm flathead for Junior Tully Hubbard, a nice 27cm herring for Junior Alana Lister, 36cm whiting for Junior Jackson Lucas, a great 40cm tailor for Junior Anton Pope, five black bream catches above 35cm in the open category with a 44.5cm bream taking out top place, a 58cm mirror carp for Michael Savva, 55cm flathead for Linc Oliver in the Senior section, 32cm herring for Senior Richard Storm and lots of tarwhine caught above 30cm’s.

Tom Schuilling’s winning 16kg mulloway
A first time catch!

Communications Coordinator Alanna Hubbard said:

“It was amazing to see so many families enjoy the diverse range of species in our Swan River with many children catching their very first fish over the weekend, meaning Swanfish will live in their memories forever.”

There were participants as young as 4 years old right up to 80 years old just having a crack. It was fantastic having the fishing community get behind what we do and support us in our 2nd year of the ‘Catch, Click and Release format.” 

A nice bream catch
A 46cm flathead joined the leaderboard

The Swanfish App, built by the team at TrackMyFish, allowed fishers to take a photo of their catch and enter it into the competition with only a few simple clicks. The app includes a live feed showing how many fish of each species had been caught. This app has been utilised in fishing events throughout Australia, including Barramundi tournaments in Queensland and has proven to be extremely useful for competitors.

A 30cm whiting for one family

The app turns all competitors into citizen scientists for the weekend, as each logged catch goes into a database which will be built on over future events. Long term data such as this is vital in providing insight to guide decision making around the management of our fish stocks in the Swan River.

Click here to view the stats from 2018.

To view the full results and Swanfish leader board click here.

This event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the fishing community, our sponsors and supporting partners. Also a special thank you to Kingsley Quality Meats and Prague Bakery for donating the BBQ meat.

Missed last year’s monster ‘breamosauras’? Read about it here.

See what else is being done on the Swan River to improve fish habitats, watch the video here.

Follow the Swanfish Facebook to see all the various fish catches.