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 1.09 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Townsville ranked 8th in the state for Common Coral Trout Catch Rates
    • Commercial Catch Rates declined between 2016 and 2017 with 93.6 kg/day and 86.5kg/day reported, respectively


    Quality of the Fish

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 446mm in 2017
    • Townsville ranked 12th in the State for size of Common Coral Trout (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 40 fish reported)


    Community Attitudes

    • 65% of fish reported in Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp surveys in 2017 were kept
    • 79% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Townsville was ranked 6th in the state in 2017 for the number of released fish 


  • Forecast

    Moderate Take For Consumption Advised

    Forecast pending.

  • 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 Townsville regularly report catching Common Coral Trout with most being kept. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Common Coral Trout was the 4th most commonly reported species in 2017
    • A total of 236 fish were reported in 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    • An average length of 446mm was reported in 2017
    • Fishers reported a catch rate of 1.09 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 65% of fish reported in 2017 were kept
    • 79% of fish were reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Peak periods for catches in 2017 were during March, July and September


    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.



    A detailed snapshot of Sportfisher / Suntaggers data is available:

    Townsville 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 Townsville (see Area Fished section) represented 10.4% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rates declined in 2017 (86.5kg/fish/fisher/day) from 93.6kg/fisher/day 20.4kg/fisher/day in 2016
    • Number of active licenses has been between 34-56 over the past decade with 45 active in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 79.3T, compared to 112.46T in 2016


    Townsville Common Coral Trout Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of 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 Meteorology
    • Local Sportfishers
    • Queensland Fisheries

    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Common Coral Trout:

    Local Sportfishers
    Townsville Queensland Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    Townsville 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. For this assessment commercial gridsJ21-R21 and J22-R22 were used.