Grass Emperor are a popular food species and are the most commonly targeted inshore species.

  • 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

    • Local Sportfishers reported a catch rate of 1 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys report a catch rate of 1.07 fish/fisher/day
    • Townsville ranked 9th in the state for Grass Emperor Catch Rates in 2017
    • An increase in Commercial Catch Rates, from 4.74 kg/day in 2016 to 6 kg/day in 2017, was reported


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys report an average size of 345mm in 2017
    • Townsville ranked 9th in the State for size of Grass Emperor (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys - based on min 100 fish reported)


    Community Attitudes

    • 73% of Grass Emperor reported in Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys were released
    • 75% of fish reported in 2017 were reported by locals
    • Townsville ranked 8th in the state for the number of fish released


  • 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 Grass Emperor with most being returned to the water. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Grass Emperor was the 22nd most commonly reported species across the state in 2017
    • An average size of 345mm was reported in 2017
    • Fishers reported a catch rate of 1.07 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 73% of legal size fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 75% of fish reported were caught by locals
    • Peak periods for Grass Emperor catches in 2017 were during February and June in 2017


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • Sportfishers

    Local Sportfishers

    Grass Emperor 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, the offshore fishery represents the opportunity to bring back a feed of fish for the family.

    • Local Sportfishers have reported a catch rate of 1 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • The most commonly reported size reported to date are fish in the 200-250mm size range


    A snapshot of Grass Emperor catch by Sportsfishers / Suntaggers 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 Grass Emperor in Townsville (see Area Fished section) represented 2.2% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate is up from 4.74 kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 6 kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • Number of active licenses in 2017 was 5 with 5-12 active over the past 10 years.
    • Commercial catch in 2017 is 0.24T, compared to 0.27T in 2016.


    Townsville Grass Emperor Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Grass Emperor

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

    • Bureau of Meterology
    • Suntag
    • Queensland Fisheries


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Grass Emperor:

    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.