Southwest Anglers Gutted at Fish Deaths

UPDATE 21/02/19

Readers may recall the deaths of Brown Trout in Big Brook Dam during January, believed to be a result of rapidly lowering water levels in the dam to undertake excavation and repair work on the embankment and pipes by the Water Corporation. Neither Recfishwest nor our Freshwater Fishing Reference Group were advised of this repair work.

Thanks to the quick thinking of some keen anglers a number of these prized fish were able to be saved, however, many fish needlessly perished.

At the time of this event, Recfishwest reported that we would work with relevant agencies to ensure the risk of fish kills were reduced in the future.

We are pleased to report that Recfishwest recently met with Water Corporation staff to determine how best we can work together to prevent future fish kills during remedial works on our dams.

Photo credit: Kelvin Ty

These fish are a valuable asset that has been paid for by recreational fishers (through licence fees) and when work on our dams is likely to threaten our assets it is only reasonable we are consulted about it.

Photo credit: Kelvin Tyj

Better consultation and early knowledge of planned work on our dams allows us to take action to significantly reduce the risk of fish deaths.

Water Corporation have committed to working in partnership with Recfishwest to ensure early communication of works on our dams, as well as strategies to reduce impacts on fish and fish habitat.

Recfishwest is pleased at the timeliness of this commitment and look forward to working together to ensure that quality fishing experiences remain throughout our Southwest.

Water Corporation have now committed to an increased level of monitoring of Big Brook Dam whilst the water level remains low and will implement actions such as water aeration should this be necessary to maintain water quality.

Recfishwest will continue to monitor the situation and keep our community updated.

 

 

 

Water Corporation Statement:

Fishers’ happy with plans to prevent further fish deaths

Water Corporation is installing water aeration pumps to improve oxygen concentrations at Big Brook Dam in Pemberton while it completes essential safety maintenance.

A range of mitigation strategies were discussed at a recent meeting with Recfishwest to look at options that would help reduce the impact on fish stocks at the dam when water levels are temporarily lowered.

Water Corporation South West Regional Manager, John Janssen said about 30 fish located in feeder creeks had sadly died recently when water levels were lowered to allow maintenance to go ahead.

“We are working closely with Recfishwest to help manage any further unforeseen impacts on recreational fishing activity at the dam,” Mr Janssen said.

“We will continue to closely monitor the introduced fish stocks in the Big Brook Dam while this maintenance work is carried out.

“The work we are doing at the dam is to ensure the dam will remain a safe and fantastic place to fish and recreate for many years to come.”

Matthew Gillett, Fishing Development Officer at Recfishwest said it was important to understand that trout would naturally swim upstream and struggle in the warmer weather.

“It is a rare event for more than one hundred more mature Brown Trout to be introduced at Big Brook Dam and fishers were looking forward to catching these. So we will work with Water Corporation to make sure the dam maintenance work can be completed, along with allowing fishing enthusiasts to still enjoy a good catch.” Mr Gillett said.

For more information about the Big Brook Dam Maintenance Work project please visit:
https://www.watercorporation.com.au/water-supply/ongoing-works/big-brook-dam-maintenance-work

 

Read the previous updates below.

Continue reading “Southwest Anglers Gutted at Fish Deaths”

Families wanted for Freshwater Fishing Fun!

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.

Click here to register!

Relive the excitement from last years event!

 

FAQs

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is parking available at the event, however it is limited. Its best to get there early to get a good spot.

Map.

What can I bring into the event?

You’re welcome to bring chairs, fishing rods, bait and lures. You should also bring weather proof clothing, a change of clothes and /gumboots reef shoes.

We will have rods, lures and bait available however it will be limited.

You may also like to bring along a canoe/kayak.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

We will have a Facebook page where you can ask any questions leading up to the event, alternatively you can email info@recfishwest.org.au or call the office on (08) 9246 3366 between 9 -5pm Monday – Friday.

Where else can I fish if this event is full?

Harvey Dam, Waroona, Logue Brook Dam, Big Brook Dam, Warren River and Donelly River are all excellent places for freshwater fishing if this event is full.

 

Want to know more about upcoming events? Visit our Events Calendar.

Purple Fly Fishing – Casting for Recovery

 

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA have again teamed up to deliver the 3rd Purple Fly Fishing Program. Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Care WA is a Western Australian charity that provides personalised emotional, practical and financial support to people affected by breast cancer.

 

The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer. The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.

 

Breast Cancer Care WA support staff volunteer their time for the breast cancer clients for this program, and currently, the program is funded by a Recfishwest Community Grant. There are also plenty of community partners who donate goods and services to make the program as enjoyable as possible for the ladies.

The program offers participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery.

For many of the ladies, it was their first time participating in any form of fishing!

Wellness and mindful activities accompanied the fishing, but a sunset fish on Saturday and a Sunday sunrise session definitely were some of the fishing highlight’s as the dams came to life with Rainbow Trout firing and providing the ladies with some fishing excitement!!

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA are both not for profit organisations and are always open for new partnerships to help continue and grow the Purple Fly Fishing Program statewide. If your brand or organisation would like to come on board and support this life changing program, please contact Tim at recfish@recfishwest.org.au

Recfishwest would like to thank all of the community partners who got on board and threw their support behind the 2017 Purple Fly Fishing Program, including:

• Clover Cottage
• Shimano Australia
• Thomsons Bus Lines
• Holy Smoke, Smoke House
• Browns Dairy
• Farmhouse Pizza – Manjimup
• Innovations Catering
• Spud Shed Jandakot
• Sukin Skincare
• Pronto Fine Foods
• Quinni Tavern Holiday House
• Fairview Farmhouse
• Tall Timbers Manjimup
• Southern Forests Honey
________________________________________
Fact file:

• Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
• The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer.
• The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.
• The program offers participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery.

TroutFest Sheds New Light on Freshwater Fishing

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.

Click to register! 

 

 

 


TroutFest 2017

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.

Trout and about: Drakesbrook Weir played host to a Recfishwest public rainbow trout release. The aim is to stock the waterway with fish for recreational anglers.The event coincided with a statement from WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly removing the annual closed season of freshwater waterways.

Posted by ABC South West on Wednesday, 6 September 2017

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.

 

 

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

Freshwater Fishing in Good Hands

For the majority of West Aussies, fishing means jumping on a boat or heading to the coast and enjoying the fabulous saltwater fishing opportunities available. There is, however, the option to escape into the wilderness of the south-west and be swallowed up by the whole freshwater fishing experience.

Freshwater fishers will tell you there is no experience like it, as it is so incredibly different to any other type of fishing. Many people see freshwater fishing as the thing to do if you do not have access to the ocean or a boat. This is far from true, and often fishers become so enveloped with freshwater fishing that they live and breathe it.

Recfishwest strives for great fishing experiences for all in the WA community forever and many of our members feel this passionately about giving back to fishing in WA as well. It is these members that make up Recfishwest’s Freshwater Fishing Reference Group (FFRG) whose combined experience and knowledge go toward providing well-informed advice on behalf of the community around the management of freshwater fishing.

Chair of the FFRG, Ian Sewell, has been a long time avid fisher and works tirelessly with Recfishwest to ensure that there will be sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe freshwater fishing for generations to come.

“This dedicated group allocates where the available trout, which includes, fingerlings, yearlings and ex-brood stock will be stocked for the coming season as well as providing feedback on management issues that may affect this unique fishery.’’ He said.

With a mild wet summer, WA’s Put and Take Trout Fishery is looking set for a great 2017/2018 season. Stream flows have remained good over the summer period which is when most fish face their hardest times. In celebrating our unique freshwater fishing experience, the FFRG are pleased to announce the inaugural community stocking and fishing day, scheduled for September. 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, as well as receiving expert advice and tutelage on freshwater fishing from some of WA’s experts.

Freshwater Reference Group Chair Ian Sewell fishing in New Zealand.

“The community stocking and fishing day will be a great opportunity for families and friends to get along to a regularly stocked waterway to experience what freshwater fishing is all about. 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” Ian Sewell said.

For those interested in attending, please keep an eye on the Recfishwest website and social media channels for further information. Recfishwest wishes to acknowledge the fantastic work put in by the FFRG in ensuring the continued success of freshwater fishing in WA.

 

Purple Fly Fishing’s Second Year of Smiles

Fly fishing was just what the doctor ordered on a special weekend at Clover Cottage earlier this month. For the second year in succession, fly fishing experts descended on picturesque Clover Cottage, Manjimup, on the banks of the Warren River, to teach 15 ladies from Breast Cancer Care WA the art of fly casting.

The Purple Fly Weekend follows on from the success of last year’s event and previous Pink Fly Fishing Days which were regularly held in Perth. Members of the West Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association were among those who donated their time to offer assistance, in what was a very calm and educational environment for the ladies to learn in. The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer. The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.

Breast Cancer Care WA support staff volunteered their time and were joined by breast cancer clients, with the weekend funded by a Recfishwest Community Grant. The weekend offered participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery. Great weather greeted the group and the ladies enjoyed a dry casting session on the Friday after a bonding session on the bus on the way down from Perth.

After more casting practice, around half a dozen trout were caught by the ladies on the Saturday morning with persistence the key, as for many, this was their first time participating in any form of fishing! Wellness and mindful activities followed, with a sunset fish to round out the day, with more Rainbow Trout taking a liking to the flies as they landed on the surface of the water.

Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Care WA is a Western Australian charity that provides personalised emotional, practical and financial support to people affected by breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Care WA received no government funding and their activities are entirely reliant on the generosity of the Western Australian community. It is famous for the charity event Purple Bra Day, raising funds and awareness for breast cancer clients.
Recfishwest would like to thank all of the community partners who got on board and threw their support behind the Purple Fly Fishing Program, including:

• Clover Cottage
Paul & Petrina Thomsett
• Shimano Australia
Leroy Horton
• Kin Kin Retreat and Farmstay
Leanne & Greg
• Holey Smoke Smoke House
Anthony
• Potato Karri Country Gourmet Potatoes
Samantha and Carlo Pessotto
• Woodgate Wines
Mark
• Bannister Downs Dairy
Sue Daubney
• Farmhouse Pizza – Manjimup
Michelle Pitt
• Innovations Catering
Bob Rawlinson and the team

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA are both not for profit organisations and are always open for new partnerships to help continue and grow the Purple Fly Fishing Program. If your brand or organisation would like to come on board and support this life changing program, please contact Tim at recfish@recfishwest.org.au

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/