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Mid-Season Forecasts for Fitzroy 2016 (moderate reliability)


  • Forecast accuracy remains moderate 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
  • BOM NINO34 forecasts for the 2016 recruitment period (Jan-Apr) for King Threadfin was for El Niño conditions
  • indicating poor recruitment however recruitment not assessed
  • Tagger catch rates in 2016 for King Threadfin will be significantly higher than in 2015


Undersized fish 200-600mm 10-50%
Legal fish 600+mm 50-90%



Overall Catch Rate 1.0-1.6 fish/fisher/trip
Legal Fish Catch Rate 0.7-1.1 fish/fisher/trip



Overall Catch Rate compared with 2015 Up 80-120%
Legal Fish Catch Rate compared with 2015 Up 60-100%
Bounty Overall Catch Rate compared with 2015 Up 0-20%
Bounty Legal Fish Catch Rate compared with 2015 Up 0-20%



King Threadfin tags in river
Worst-case scenario
80% annual reduction in tags including 10% non–reporting tags
Stock level middle-case scenario
70% annual reduction in tags
Stock level best-case scenario
50% annual reduction in tags
Tagged fish 300-700
Up 30-70%
compared with 2015



Recruitment Poor


NINO 34 projections

from BOM website


Neutral to La Niña conditions to end of 2016



Rainfall outlook

from BOM website BOM Climate Outlook

75-80% of above median rainfall Jun-Aug

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/