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Mid-Season Forecasts for Fitzroy 2016 (low reliability)


  • Forecasts accuracy remains low due to limitations of available data
  • Greater uncertainty in forecasts for 2016 due to the introduction of Fitzroy/Keppel Bay Net Free Area and commercial catch reduced to 0
  • Low rainfall due to El Niño conditions did not produce any river flow in Sep-Oct 2015 and Blue Threadfin spawning was not disrupted
  • Tagger catch rates for Blue Threadfin likely to remain steady or rise in 2016


Undersized fish 200-400mm 0-35%
Legal fish 400+mm 60-100%



Taggers catch rates for legal fish compared with 2015 Up 0-40%
Taggers catch rate for undersized fish compared with 2015 Up 0-40%



Blue Threadfin tags in river No forecast due to data limitations


Recruitment No forecast due to data limitations



NINO 34 projections

from BOM website


Neutral to La Niña conditions to end of 2016



Rainfall outlook

from BOM website BOM Climate Outlook

45-55% chance of exceeding median rainfall Jan 2016 – Mar 2016


BOM_RAINFALL[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Environmental conditions[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The Fitzroy River was where the Crystal Bowl idea started. From around 2003-2007 there was an extended dry period and Barramundi stocks were considered to be in fairly poor shape. However fishing activity was largely business as usual with only poor catch rates having an influence of fishing effort. It was determined that predicting what stocks might be like into the future was the best way to influence decisions and fisher behavior. So the Crystal Bowl idea was born and the first forecasts were made in 2011.

The Crystal Bowl forecasts are applied to the tidal estuary of the Fitzroy River downstream from the barrage at Rockhampton and all the tributaries on the delta and the top end of Curtis Island. Suntag grid maps FRR, RAG and CIS cover the area included.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]DATA SOURCES

Data used in the Fitzroy Crystal Bowl are:

  • Tag and catch records from Captag and other local taggers for maps FRR, RAG and CIS from http://qld.info-fish.net
  • Recapture records of tagged fish from http://qld.info-fish.net
  • Commercial catch for QFISH grids R29 and R30 from http://qfish.daf.qld.gov.au to 2015 (Net Free Zone from 2016)
  • Tagged fish in commercial catch from seafood processors to 2015
  • Tag and catch records from Rocky Barra Bounty from http://qld.info-fish.net
  • Recruitment surveys for Suntag maps FRR, RAG and CIS from http://qld.info-fish.net
  • River flow records for Fitzroy River at the Gap station 130005A from https://water-monitoring.information.qld.gov.au
  • Rainfall records for Rockhampton station 049083 from http://www.bom.gov.au/ and Cheetham Saltworks station at 12 Mile Creek from Cheetham Salt
  • Rainfall outlook for Rockhampton and Bajool from http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/rainfall/median/seasonal/0
  • BOM long range NINO34 forecasts from http://www.bom.gov.au/