Dusky Flathead are a popular food species for all fishers as well as a popular target for sports fishers.

  • 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 (number of legal size fish kept or released)


    Fishing Experience

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 0.01 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Local Sportfishers reported a catch rate of 0.5 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Hinchinbrook ranked 14th in the state for Dusky Flathead Catch Rates in 2017


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 526mm in 2017
    • Hinchinbrook ranked 2nd in the State for size of Flathead however, this is based on a total of 37 fish so may be biased


    Community Attitudes

    • 77% of legal sized fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 82% of the total catch in 2017 was reported by visitors to the area
    • Hinchinbrook ranked 3rd in the state for the number of fish released


  • Assessment

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Dusky Flathead are reported as an incidental catch and not targetted by commercials. No assessment can be made on available data but we advise moderation and taking only what is needed for immediate consumption.

  • Forecast


    Not enough data is available to make a forecast.


  • 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 Hinchinbrook regularly report catching Flathead with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Dusky Flathead was the 26th most commonly reported species in Hinchinbrook in 2017
    • An average length of 526mm was reported in the Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys in 2017
    • Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.01 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 77% of legal size fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 82% of fish reported were caught by locals
    • Peak period for Flathead catches in 2017 was during March


    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 a 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.

    • Sportfishers reported a catch rate of 0.5 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • The most common sizes of Flathead reported by Sportfishers in 2017 was a single fish in the 501-600mm size range


    A detailed snapshot of local Sportfishers and Suntaggers catch data is available:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntaggers


  • 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 Dusky Flathead in Hinchinbrook (see Area Fished section) represented 0.8% share of the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate declined slightly between 2016 and 2017 with 5.24kg/fisher/day and 4.57kg/fisher/day reported, respectively
    • Number of active licenses has ranged between 7 and 16 over the last decade with 7 licences active in 2017.
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 0.32T, compared to 0.33T in 2016.


    Hinchinbrook Dusky Flathead Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Flathead

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

    • Bureau of Meterology
    • Queensland Fisheries
    • Suntag / Local Sportfishers


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Dusky Flathead:

  • Fishing Area

    Area Assessed

    Dusky Flathead are caught throughout the Hinchinbrook region. Commercial catches are assessed on Grids I19 and I20 which includes the Hinchbrook Channel net free zone.