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.

Perth’s Premier Family Fishing Event

Swanfish is Perth’s Premier family friendly fishing event held on the banks of the Swan River, Perth WA. The annual event is all about encouraging families to sample the excellent fishing on offer in our iconic Swan River and to highlight the community’s connection with the jewel in our city’s crown.

Swanfish 2016

A new direction for Swanfish

Last year, for the first time in history, Swanfish became a ‘Catch, Click and Release’ event thanks to the guys at TrackMyFish allowing us to utilise their smartphone app enabling fishers to submit their catches over the weekend. There is nothing more important than the sustainability of our favourite species and this change will ensure that the impact we have during Swanfish remains low forever.

Family friendly event

Adding to the new direction for Swanfish, establishing a partnership was Fishability was an important step forward  to ensure everyone was able to participate in the event regardless of age or ability. Fishability will be supporting us again this year by running a clinic early Sunday morning to ensure that those that need help whilst fishing are given the opportunity to participate in the event. If you are interested in joining them for the morning, please email Di.CherylBruce@dpird.wa.gov.au.

Prizes and categories

Scott Coghlan from Western Angler Magazine presenting on all things fishing

Swanfish includes all your favourite fish species including bream, flathead, whiting, mulloway, blue swimmer crabs, tarwhine, herring, skippy, tailor, grunter and flounder.

There are fantastic prizes up for grabs this year including a Shimano Terez Rod and Stella 6000 reel combo for the heaviest mulloway, all thanks to our partner Shimano. Read the full list of prizes and categories at Swanfish.com.au.

When is it?

The event will commence at 9:00am on Saturday 23rd February and the last fishing photos are to be submitted via the app by 9:00am Sunday 24th February.

Getaway Outdoors will be showcasing their hobie kayaks and stand up paddleboards

Registrations

Registrations can be made online PRIOR to commencing fishing via the Swanfish website. There will be NO registrations taking place in person on the Saturday. All registrations must be undertaken online. Registrants will be emailed details of how to log their catch at 9am Saturday 23rd February to ensure that no fishing begins before the start time. Registrants are able to keep track of their place on the leaderboard  via the Swanfish App so make sure you download this prior to the event.

*Please note, attendees can only purchase one ticket at a time to ensure you are given a unique identifier code for the competition.

Families at the final day of the competition

Weigh in/Presentation

The traditional ‘weigh in’ will be held at 10am Garvey Park, in Ascot on the final day and is a centralised location that has plenty of parking, shade and facilities. Come and enjoy the BBQ breakfast, take part in the demos with Getaway Outdoors and pick up some new fishing equipment from MOB tackle as we award prizes for the competition itself as well as various raffle prizes. Participants must be present to claim their prize.

We’re grateful for the support over the years, and we look forward to seeing you at Swanfish 2019.

For any enquiries please email info@recfishwest.org.au

Fantastic prizes for the kids

REGISTER HERE

 

 

 

 

Breamosaurus Showcases the Swan’s Credentials

The Swan River plays a huge part in the culture and lifestyle of many fishers in Perth – giving safe and easy access to great fishing for everyone.

There are 60km of accessible water for every level of fisher in the Swan River, with fishing platforms, jettys and grassed banks providing the thousands of Perth based fishers access, both day and night, to a world class fishing river.

Point Walter Jetty at night – Just one of the many accessible fishing locations on Perth’s Swan River.

Which other river running through an Australian Capital City can you access:

  • World class bream fishing on flats or near structures such as snags and jetties
  • Soaking big baits under the city lights or deep amongst the Mosman moorings for mulloway
  • Flathead and flounder on the flats during warm summer days
  • Drop netting for crabs from the dinghy or jetties
  • Diving or scooping for school and king prawns
  • Diving for crabs at night
  • Trolling for tailor as the Fremantle doctor whips up the water on a summer arvo

There have been plenty of studies that have highlighted the rejuvenated health of the Swan River in recent years and the recent Swanfish event proved again the river is in good shape with plenty of fish caught and released.

Perth’s premier family fishing event, Swanfish, took a new direction this year focusing on catch and release fishing and the results were exciting for the future of the Swan. To showcase the health of the Swan River, the 2018 Swanfish event had 166 fish submitted across 14 species by 249 competitors – in only 24 hours.

The prized catch (which was safely released) was a monster 51cm Black Bream – earning the name ‘Breamosauras’, caught by local bream fisher Clay Anderson.

Breamosaurus‘ – This 51cm Black Bream (big enought to be a legal size Pink Snapper) was caught by Clay Anderson during Swanfish 2018 and successfully released under the new Swanfish catch and release format. Clay also caught a 40cm horse too that day!

Not only will the majority of fishers never get to catch a bream this big in their life, many wouldn’t believe a fish of this size still lives in Perth’s Swan River.

Here are some interesting facts about the catches from Swanfish and some to suggest the river is healthy and thriving!!

Swanfish 2018 Map of some of the catches from participants!
Breakdown of the range of species caught during the Swanfish 2018 weekend.

It’s a High Tide Thing!

Here’s some insight as to when the fish were caught during Swanfish 2018. Although people could fish for a whole 24 hours and some competitors would have only fished the daylight hours, the below graph gives you a good understanding as to when the fish were biting in the Swan – and may help you when fishing the Swan in the future!

You can see by the blue bars (representing fish catches) that the majority of catches came in on the incoming tide and high tide peak. Interesting to note the lack of catches on the outgoing tide and bottom of the low!

Bream are Capable of Travelling….a lot!
The average distance covered by tagged bream throughout a four month innovative and exciting fish tracking program was 33km, with one fish covering a whopping distance of 130km! Another bream on one instance recorded travelling 11km in less than 15 hours.

When not on the move, the tagged fish in the study spent most of their time around Ascot and Caversham (we know this from the underwater acoustic tagging receivers).

Implanting the acoustic tags inside a Black Bream – #surgery on the swan!

There was also movement of some fish between the Swan and Canning Rivers, confirming these populations are interconnected. Some of the bream’s movements through the rivers were found to be linked to heavy rainfall events. While bream are hardy fish that can handle a high salinity range, the tagged fish favoured areas where salinity ranged between 10-20ppt (normal sea water is around 35ppt).

To Read more about this interesting bream project, click here.

Swanfish 2018 Results

With a focus on catch and release fishing and for the first time ever, the use of a purpose-built smartphone app, Swanfish provided participants with a live scoreboard and an instant method of logging their catches.

Longest Blue Swimmer Crab, 69 cm, caught by youngster Lachie McIntosh with Recfishwest’s James and Matt.

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 included a live feed with photos so fishers can see in real time what’s being caught elsewhere on the river. This style of app has been utilised in other fishing events throughout Australia and has proven to be extremely useful for competitors.

Over a one hundred keen fishers came back down on the Sunday morning to claim their prizes!

The app also turned all competitors into citizen scientists for the weekend, as each logged catch went into a database which will be built on over future events. Long term data such as this is vital in providing insight into decision making around river management going forward.

Winner of the random prize draw for the Hobie Revolution 13 Fishing Kayak (courtesy of Getaway Outdoors) went to young fisher Adoni – seen here making himself comfortable in his new kayak!

To see some of the fish entered into Swanfish 2018, check out the Swanfish Facebook Page here.

New Tech to Ensure Future of Premier Fishing Event

Perth’s premier family fishing event, Swanfish, is on again this weekend, with a new direction aimed at better engaging fishers throughout the event. With a focus on catch and release fishing and for the first time ever, the use of a purpose-built smartphone app, Swanfish will provide participants with a live scoreboard and an instant method of logging their catches.

This year Swanfish will focus on catch & release fishing.

The Swanfish App, built by the team at TrackMyFish, will allow 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 with photos so fishers can see in real time what’s being caught elsewhere on the river. This style of app has been utilised in other fishing events throughout Australia and has proven to be extremely useful for competitors.

The app is simple to use and free to download, simply search for ‘Swanfish’ in the App Store or Google Play.

The app will also turn 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 into decision making around river management going forward.

The use of the app has also allowed Swanfish to change its format to a catch and release event. Whilst Swanfish has included a catch and release section for years, this new technology has allowed the event to go almost fully catch and release, with only large Mulloway able to be captured and brought to the award ceremony on the Sunday.

See what Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly had to say about the exciting new direction Swanfish is taking, read his statement here.

There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including this Hobie Revolution 13 Kayak.

Thanks to our Swanfish sponsors, there are 20 categories and over $9000 worth in prizes. Please note you must be in attendance on Sunday at Garvey Park to win.

These changes will ensure that Swanfish continues to provide Perth families with the opportunity to connect with the river and enjoy the health and wellbeing aspects of fishing for many years to come.

To learn more about Swanfish, please visit www.swanfish.com.au

Our Valued 2018 Swanfish Sponsors

A New Direction for Swanfish in 2018

Swanfish is extremely excited to announce a new direction for our event.

The Swan River is the jewel in our city’s crown, and we’ve always promoted the community’s connection to the river through fishing. Going forward, we will be striving to highlight that connection even further and we’ve got some new and exciting announcements that we believe will ensure Swanfish has a bright future.

Image: Swanfish will be a catch and release event only.

For the first time in its history, Swanfish will be catch and release only, for all species.  There is nothing more important than the sustainability of our favourite species, and this change will ensure that the impact we have during Swanfish remains low forever.

We’re moving! Swanfish will now be held at Garvey Park, in Ascot. It’s a centralised location that has plenty of shade which we feel will make for a much better Swanfish experience for all.

We’re adopting new technology, which makes submitting your catches easier. We’re partnering with the great crew at TrackMyFish, and will be utilising their smartphone app to submit catches over the weekend.

Image: Volunteers from Fishability will be at Swanfish 2018.

We’re being more inclusive by partnering with Fishability, who offer fishing experiences for people who need help with fishing. This will ensure that anyone who wants to, can participate. Fishability will be running fishing clinics during the event to ensure that those that need help whilst fishing are given the opportunity to participate.

We’re going to teach more people to fish. We’ll be running specialised Swan River fishing clinics over the weekend to ensure that everyone can get the right knowledge to fish successfully in the Swan River.

We’re going to celebrate fishing! The traditional Sunday ‘weigh in’ will now be an event that showcases fishing clubs, tackle stores and fishing activities as well as awarding the prizes for the competition itself.

We’re very excited about what the future holds. Whilst we will be retaining the core competition elements of the event, we also want to promote it as a chance for people to come and learn about fishing in the river.

We’re grateful for the support over the years, and we look forward to seeing you at Swanfish 2018.

Banner photo credit: Perth International Boat Show.