Saddletail Snapper are a popular food species and are a commonly targeted offshore species. Most of the offshore fishing for reef species around Rockhampton is conducted by recreational 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 (the number of legal size fish kept or released)


    Fishing Experience

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reports catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day
    • Saddletail Snapper were commonly reported in Rockhampton (ranked 10th in boat ramp surveys)
    • Increase in Commercial Catch Rates, increasing from 25.8 kg/day (2016) to 33.1kg/day (2017 Incomplete)


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 508mm in 2017
    • Rockhampton ranked 8th in the State for size of Saddletail Snapper but due to small sample size some uncertainty of this ranking exists.


    Community Attitudes

    • 63% of fish reported at Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys were released
    • 59% of the fish reported were caught by visitors
    • Rockhampton has the 6th highest rate of released fish in the state


  • Forecast

    Limited Take For Consumption Advised

    Saddletail Snapper are a small portion of the offshore catch for all species off Gladstone. Limited data makes full assessment difficult. Without clear evidence of stocks, some caution should be exercised on harvest.

    • Catch rates will be in a similar range in 2018 (+20 - -20%)
    • Average size of fish is likely to be similar in 2018 (Average 480mm)
    • Recruitment is unknown


    Heavy harvesting of Saddletail Snapper is not recommended, but a moderate take for consumption is unlikely to adversely affect stocks based on available data. 

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

    • Saddletail Snapper was a commonly reported species, ranking 10th in Rockhampton in 2017
    • The average size of fish measured in 2017 was 508mm
    • Fishers reported an overall catch rate of 0.7 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 63% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 59% of fish reported were caught by visitors
    • Peak periods for Saddletail Snapper catches in 2017 were during June and September


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Local Sportfishers

    Saddletail Snapper 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 have reported a catch rateoff 0.6 fish/fisher/day in 2018, so far
    • Most fish reported are in the 401-450mm size range


    A snapshot of local Sportfishers (Suntag) data is available:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntag


  • 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 Saddletail Snapper in Rockhampton (see Area Fished section) represented 2.7% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate decreased, from 25.8 kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 33.1 kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • The number of active licenses has ranged from 9-19 over the past decade with 19 licenses active in 2017
    • Commercial Catch in 2017 was 1.69T, compared to 0.85T in 2016.


    Rockhampton Saddletail Snapper Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Saddletail Snapper Recruitment

    No data is available currently on Crimson Snapper recruitment.


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Saddletail Snapper

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

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


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Saddletail Snapper:

    Local Sportfishers / Suntaggers
    Rockhampton Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Rockhampton 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).