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 (number of legal size fish kept or released)
- Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 1.6 fish/fisher/day
- Hinchinbrook ranked 3rd in the state for Common Coral Trout Catch Rates
- A notable increase in Commercial Catch Rates, from 68.3 kg/day in 2016 to 94.1kg/day in 2017
Quality of the Fish
- Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 460mm in 2017
- Hinchinbrook ranked 6th in the State for size of Common Coral Trout (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 40 fish reported)
- 62% of fish reported in Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys in 2017 were kept
- Hinchinbrook was ranked 10th in the state in 2017 for number of released fish
- 66% of the total catch was reported by visitors to the area
Moderate Take For Consumption Advised
Coral trout catch rates have been on the improve the past two years amongst commercial fisher and stable for recreational fishers. Conditions in 2018 may depend on current proposals to increase quota in the Coral Trout fishery. If quota remains similar to 2017 through 2018 conditions are likely to improve slightly in 2018.
Coral Trout is one of the drawcards for fishers coming to Hinchinbrook due to their excellent eating qualities. Moderate take is unlikely to impact stocks of Coral Trout noting there are environmental stressors such as Coral bleaching affecting this species.
- Catch rates should continue to improve in 2018 (+10-+30%)
- Average size of fish is likely to be similar in 2018 (Average 450+mm)
- Recruitment is unknown
Qld FIsheries Boat Ramp Surveys
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 Hinchinbrook regularly report catching Common Coral Trout with most being kept. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.
- Common Coral Trout was the 4th most commonly reported species in Hinchinbrook in 2017
- An average size of 460mm was reported in 2017
- Fishers reported a catch rate of 1.68 fish/fisher/day
- 62% of fish reported in 2017 were kept
- Peak periods for catches in 2017 were during April and August
Common Coral Trout are targeted by sportfishers for much the same reason as other groups - take home for a feed. As sportfishers practice catch and release for their key estuary targets, offshore represents the opportunity to bring back a feed of fish for the family.
- Data under review
A detailed snapshot of Sportfisher / Suntaggers data is available:Local Sportfishers
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 Common Coral Trout in Hinchinbrook (see Area Fished section) represented 11.2% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.
- Commercial Catch rates increased between 2016 and 2017, with 68.3 kg/fisher/day 94.1kg/fisher/day reported, respectively
- Number of active licenses has been between 44-65 over the past decade with 52 active in 2017
- Commercial catch in 2017 was 85.6T, compared to 79.1T in 2016
Monitoring of Common Coral Trout Recruitment
No data is available currently on Common Coral Trout recruitment.
Monitoring of Common Coral Trout
Data for this assessment has been sourced from:
- Bureau of Meterology
- Suntagger / Sportfishers
- Queensland Fisheries
Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Common Coral Trout:
Offshore catch monitoring is more difficult than inshore as each of the monitoring agencies define different boundaries around fishing areas. For this assessment commercial grids I19-M19 and I20-M20 were used.