Dusky Flatheadare a popular food species for all fishers as well as a popular target for sports fishers. Dusky Flathead are the second most common fish species weighed in at the Boyne Tannum Hookup live weigh in event.

  • Overview


    Crystal Bowl GBR is aiming to examine 3 core measures across a wide range of species in the region:

    • Fishing experience (how many fish per trip)
    • Quality of the fish (size of fish)
    • Community attitudes


    Fishing Experience

    • 2017 Boyne Tannum Hookup catch rate was 1.4 fish/fisher/day
    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 0.2 fish/fisher/day
    • Gladstone Sportfishing Club catch rate of 0.96 fish/fisher/day
    • Gladstone ranked 3th in the state for Dusky Flathead Catch Rates
    • Slight decline in Commercial Catch Rates, dropping from 7.2kg/day (2015) to 3.9kg/day (2017 Incomplete)


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Boyne Tannum Hookup average fish size was 512.6mm and 0.97kg in weight.
    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys was 510mm
    • 2017 Gladstone Sportfishing Club average fish size was 515.8mm
    • Gladstone Ranked 2rd in the State for size of Flathead (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 100 fish reported)


    Community Attitudes

    • Dusky Flathead is the 3rd most common species in the Boyne Tannum Hookup Live Weigh in
    • 93% of fish reported at Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys are released - highest in the state
    • All fishers are local (100%)
    • The high average size indicates pressure on the species is lower


  • Assessment

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Heavy harvesting of Flathead is not recommended, but a moderate take for consumption is unlikely to adversely affect stocks based on available data. Evidence from the Qld Fisheries boat ramp surveys suggests that most fish are released.

    NOTE: Moderate take means taking what is required for immediate needs.

  • Forecast


    • Boyne Tannum hookup catch rate between 1.2 and 1.6 fish/fisher/day
    • 95% of Dusky Flathead in the Boyne Tannum Hookup will be between 490 and 530mm
    • Recruitment is unknown


  • Boyne Tannum Hookup

    Boyne Tannum Hookup Annual Event


    The Boyne Tannum Hookup is the biggest single fishing event in Queensland. Gladstone Sportfishing Club has run a live weigh-in as part of the event since the beginning and over that time 3216 Yellowfin Bream have been weighed in. All fish weighed in are of legal size or above, though trophy bream are few and far between.

    Boyne Tannum Hookup 2016 Report
    • Catch rate at the hookup was 1.4 fish/fisher/day
    • Average length of fish at the Live weigh in was 278.5mm
    • Average weight of fish at the live weigh in was 0.43kg


    Detailed Examination of Size

    Over that time the condition of the bream has been oscillated, conditions and potentially changes to the environment may affect their size. A summary of the event and condition of Dusky Flathead below.

    View All Years Length - Weight
    View All Years Condition Data


  • Qld FIsheries Boat Ramp Surveys - General Fishers

    Monitoring of Recreational Catch by Qld Fisheries

    Queensland Fisheries monitors boat ramps up and down the coast as a part of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. Fishers in Gladstone regularly report catching Bream with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Dusky Flathead is the 10th most commonly reported species
    • Average size of fish measured was 510mm
    • Fishers reported an overall catch rate of 0.16 fish/fisher/day
    • 93% of fish reported are released
    • Peak periods of April and May.


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Dusky Flathead as a Sports Species

    Dusky Flathead are a prized by Sportsfishers because they are an agressive species that responds to a wide variety of lures. Other species provide greater challenge, thus sportfishers tend to invest more time in other species but when conditions are not ideal or a feed is desired Flathead is an attractive option.

    • Gladstone Sportfishing Club catch rate of 0.96 fish/fisher/day
    • 2017 Gladstone Sportfishing Club average fish size was 515.8mm


    A detailed snapshot of tagging by the Gladstone Sportfishing Club and Suntaggers is available:

    Gladstone Sportfishing Club Results


  • Commercial Fishing

    Commercial Fishing Catch

    Queensland Fisheries monitors commercial catches up and down the coast. Commercial fishers are required to maintain logbooks of catch and report quarterly. The commercial catch of Bream in Gladstone (S30,S31) represents 0.75% share of the total statewide catch. Catch is the combined total of Yellowfin and Pikey Bream. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate is down slightly from 7.2kg/fisher/day in 2015 to 3.9kg/fisher/day
    • Number of active licenses has been steady at around 10 for a decade
    • Commercial catch in 2017 is 0.07T (data incomplete), 0.42T in 2016.


    Gladstone Flathead Commercial Catch Dashboard

  • Tourism

    Importance of Flathead to Tourism

    Flathead are not specifically a tourism drawcard but along with Whiting and Bream, they are an important species for any family visitors. Family visitors are more likely to target species that are easier to locate in a short space of time.

    Flathead are the second most common species reported in the Boyne Tannum Hookup and are important to the participation of locals and visitors in the event.


    Max, 4, Cody, 2 and Jack Cusack, 7- Fishing frenzy as the 2015 Boyne Tannum HookUp gets underway. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Flathead

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

    • Bureau of Meterology
    • Boyne Tannum Hookup
    • Gladstone Sportfishing Club
    • Queensland Fisheries
    • Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Bream:

    Boyne Tannum Hookup 2016 Report
  • Fishing Area

    Area Assessed

    Dusky Flathead are caught throughout the Gladstone region. Commercially they are targetted in Grids S30,S31 (Gladstone) as well as T30,T31 (Rodds Bay) which are not included as that also covers Agnes Waters/1770.