Overview - Crystal Bowl Rated Premium Fishery
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)
- 2017 T20 Fishers (Sportfishers) catch rate 2.2 fish/fisher/day
- Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 0.45 fish/fisher/day
- Mackay ranked 3rd in the state for Barramundi catches based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys.
- Slight increase in Barramundi Commercial Catch Rates from 66.6 kg/day in 2016 to 68.2 kg/day in 2017
Quality of the Fish
- Average length of Barramundi reported in 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys was 677mm
- Mackay ranked 10th in the State for size of Barramundi (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 40 fish reported)
- 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported 63% of Barramundi caught were released
- 81% of the fish reported were caught by locals
- Mackay ranked 8th in the state in 2017 for the number of fish released
Limited Take For Consumption Advised
NOTE: Limited take means recommended no more than 2 fish between 60cm-1m.Full 2018 Barramundi Forecast
- There will be a reduction in the percentage of legal fish in the catch due to the size range of fish spilling from Awoonga in 2017 being predominantly 500-700mm
- Overall catch rate and catch rate for legal fish will remain steady but may increase if fish spill from Lake Awoonga again as is possible in early 2018 (Feb-Apr)
- Catch rates in the Boyne River likely to be higher than for remainder of Gladstone Harbour due to fish spilling from Lake Awoonga in 2017 with little evidence of these fish moving beyond the Boyne River
- Stock level to remain steady with natural and fishing mortality likely to be offset by additional fish spilling from Awoonga
- Commercial Barramundi catch data for 2017 is only available for Feb-Sep and that indicates catch and catch rates are within the forecast range
- Commercial catch and effort data will be updated when complete 2017 data are available
- Neutral to slightly La Niña conditions are forecast for the recruitment period (Jan-Apr) with an average wet season with neutral conditions for the remainder of the year
- Forecast for Gladstone catchments is a 50-60% chance of exceeding median rainfall from Feb-Apr and rainfall to date suggests that conditions may not be conducive to good recruitment (expected)
Heavy harvesting of Barramundi is not recommended. Natural recruitment of Barramundi in Gladstone is poor to moderate even in good conditions. Top up stocks from Awoonga maintain stock levels but this population is vulnerable to localizedstock reduction if Awoonga dam levels drop.
Barramundi as a Sports Species
Barramundi are most commonly targetted by Sportfishers in Mackay.
- Local Sporftishers reported a catch rate of 1.8 fish/fisher/day in 2017 and 2.2 fish/fisher/day in 2018 so far.
- Most Barramundi reported in 2017 (70 fish) and in 2018 (26 fish) so far, are in the 701-800mm size range.
A detailed snapshot of Barramundi reported by local Sportfishers and Suntaggers is available:Local Sportfishers
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. General Fishers in Mackay reported catching Barramundi, with a 88% of fish being released in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.
- Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported a total of 113 Barramundi caught in Mackay in 2017 with an average length of 677mm
- A Catch Rate of 0.45 fish/fisher/day was reported in 2017
- 63% of Barramundi caught in Mackay in 2017 were released
- 81% of all Barramundi reported were caught were by locals
- Highest monthly Catch Rate for Barramundi was in May 2017
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 2017 commercial catch of Barramundi in Mackay (see Area Fished Section) represents 3.96% share of the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.
- Slight increase in Barramundi Commercial Catch Rates from 6.66 kg/day in 2016 to 68.2 kg/day in 2017
- Number of active licenses has fluctuated between 22 and 29 in the past decade, with 22 active in 2017
- A decrease in Commercial catch was reported in 2017 (35.3T) compared to 2016 (42.8T)
Monitoring of Barramundi Recruitment
Targeted Barramundi recruitment monitoring in Mackay has commenced in 2018 and will be ongoing. A summary of recruitment survey results is being drafted and will be made available when complete.
Barramundi are caught in the estuary, creek and nearshore areas of the Mackay region. Recreationally, they are targeted in inshore areas (map grids N24 and O24 to O26). Commercially, they are targeted in offshore area (map grids O24, O25 and O26 to X24, X25 and X26). It should be noted that grid N24covers most of the Mackay net free zone.