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 0.03 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Local Sportfishers have reported a catch rate of 0.4 fish/fisher/day in 2018, so far
    • Rockhampton ranked 11th 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 534mm in 2017
    • Rockhampton ranked 1st in the State for size of Flathead however, this is based on a total of 37 fish so may be biased


    Community Attitudes

    • 62% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 48% of fish reported were caught by visitors
    • The high average size indicates pressure on the species is lower but again, given the small sample size, this result may be biased


  • Forecast

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

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


    Heavy harvesting of Bream 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 but with only a single year of data, this will need to be assessed as additional data is collected.

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

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

    • Dusky Flathead was the 21st most commonly reported species in Rockhampton in 2017
    • An average length of 534mm was reported in the Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys for Flathead in 2017
    • Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.03 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 62% of fish reported in 2017 werereleased 
    • 48% of fish reported were caught by visitors
    • Peak periods for Flathead catches in 2017 were during February and September


    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 have reported a catch rate of 0.4 fish/fisher/day in 2018, so far.
    • The most common sizes of Flathead reported by Sportfishers in 2018 (so far) are fish in the 301-44mm and 501-600mm size ranges


    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. Data for the commercial catch of Bream in Rockhampton ends in 2015 with 2016 seeing the establishment of the net free zone at the mouth of the Fitzroy River (refer to Fishing Area section).

    Rockhampton 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.


    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
    • 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 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.