Coral Trout are a prized food species for locals and visitors.

  • 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 0.9 fish/fisher/day
    • Mackay ranked 9th in the state for Common Coral Trout Catch Rates
    • A notable increase in Commercial Catch Rates, from 122.3 kg/day in 2016 to 139.4 kg/day in 2017


    Quality of the Fish

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 452mm in 2017
    • Mackay ranked 11th in the State for size of Common Coral Trout (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 40 fish reported)


    Community Attitudes

    • 59% of fish reported in 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys were released
    • 76% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals 
    • Mackay has the 4th highest rate of released fish in the state


  • Forecast

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Grass Emperor catch rates are in the top 5 in the state and there are no reported issues for the species. This however is relative to current effort. Maintianing the current community harvest attitudes to the species is appropriate to maintaining the health of catch rates over the longer term.

    • Catch rates should continue to improve in 2018 (+10-+30%)
    • Average size of fish is likely to be similar in 2018 (Average 359mm)
    • 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 Mackay regularly report catching Common Coral Trout with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Common Coral Trout was the 9th most commonly reported species in Mackay in 2017
    • An average size of 452mm was reported in 2017
    • Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.9 fish per day
    • 59% of fish reported were released
    • 76% of fish reported were caught by locals
    • Peak periods for catch rates in 2017 were during February and August


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard

  • Sportfishers

    Local Sportfishers

    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.

    • Local Sportfishers reported a catch rate of 1 fish/fisher/day in 2016


    A detailed snapshot of Sportfisher / Suntaggers data is available:

    Local Sportfishers


  • 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 Common Coral Trout in Mackay (see Area Fished section) represented 29.7% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate is up from 122.3 kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 139.4 kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • Number of active licenses has been between 29-52 over the past decade with 37 active in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 226.4T, compared to 204.9T in 2016


    Mackay Common Coral Torut Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Common Coral Trout Recruitment

    No data is available currently on Common Coral Trout recruitment.


  • Monitoring

    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:

    Mackay Sportfishers / Suntaggers
    Mackay Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Mackay Queensland Fisheries Commercial Data

  • Fishing Area

    Area Assessed

    Offshore catch monitoring is more difficult than inshore as each of the monitoring agencies define different boundaries around fishing areas. These boundaries can overlap with other regions.   Fishers from Gladstone for example fish offshore from Rockhampton. Commercially Grids included in the assessment: S30,S31,T30,T31,U30,U31,V30,V31,W30,W31,X30,X31 (Gladstone).