FITZROY RIVER BARRAMUNDI FORECAST SEASON 2017

There are a total of 10 forecasts made for Barramundi in size of fish, catch rates, trends in stocks and recruitment. Taggers catch rates do not reflect the catch rates of the total fishing population however as taggers are generally in the top 20% of fishers that catch most fish their catches are more sensitive to changes in fish stocks and are comparable from year to year. Forecasts are available from www.crystal-bowl.com.au.

Season 2017 forecasts

Taggers/Avids

  • Fish from strong recruitment in 2013 and 2014 will be legal size in 2017 and will result in increased numbers of legal fish and an increase in the catch rate of legal fish
  • Overall catch rates will remain steady and may increase slightly if the forecast moderate recruitment eventuates
  • Forecast for recruitment is moderate with neutral to weak La Niña conditions during the recruitment period (Jan-Apr)
  • However due to the increase in spawning stock due to no commercial netting recruitment could be higher than forecast
  • Stock level to remain steady or decline slightly with natural and fishing mortality to be offset by moderate recruitment

Rocky Barra Bounty

  • Forecasts for the Bounty 2017 will be made in Jun 2017 as there are proposed changes to the event that may affect forecasts

Environmental conditions

  • Neutral to weak La Niña conditions are forecast for the recruitment period (Jan-Apr) with an average wet season
  • Rainfall and river flows in late Dec-early Feb will be critical to recruitment success although the rainfall outlook suggests recruitment may be weaker than forecast

Infofish Australia
November 2016

MEASURE FORECAST

ACTUAL

GRAPH

FITZROY 2017

2017

Fish sizes
Undersize fish 200-579mm
Legal - trophy fish 580-999mm
Trophy fish >1m


40% (30-50%)
55% (45-65%)
5% (0-15%)

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Actual catch rates taggers and avid fishers
Fish/fisher/day

Fish/tagger/day

Taggers/Bounty

Overall
2.4-3.0
Legal fish
0.8-1.0

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Catch rates percentage change compared with 2016

Taggers/avids

Overall
-10-+10%
Legal fish
20-40%

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Barramundi tags in river indicator of trends in stock
Most likely and range
2009-2017
Tagged fish 2017 (Jan-Dec)
1,500 (1,200-1,800)
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Recruitment
Recruits/fisher/day
Moderate
1.5 (1.0-2.0)
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12 Mile recruitment benchmark site Moderate
100 (50-150)
Revised
mod-strong
200 (150-250)
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Climate outlook to Feb 2018 BOM NINO34
Neutral to weak La Niña conditions for recruitment period Jan-Apr
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Rainfall Outlook Nov-Jan BOM forecast
35-40% chance of exceeding median rainfall
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DATA SOURCES

Data used in the Fitzroy Barramundi Crystal Bowl are: