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


    Fishing Experience

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported a catch rate of 1.13 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Saddletail Snapper were the 9th most common specie reported at boat ramp surveys
    • An increase in Commercial Catch Rates, from 32.4kg/day in 2016 to 73.3kg/day in 2017, was reported.
    • Townsville ranked 4th in the state for the catch rate of Saddletail Snapper


    Quality of the Fish

    • An average length of 564mm was reported in 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    • Townsville ranked 3rd in the State for size of Saddletail Snapper 


    Community Attitudes

    • 64% of fish reported at Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp in survey in 2017 were released
    • 98% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Townsville ranked 2nd in the state in 2017 for the release rate of Saddletail Snapper


  • Forecast

    Limited Take For Consumption Advised

    Forecast Pending 

    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 Townsville report catching Saddletail Snapper in 2017 with most being kept. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Saddletail Snapper was a commonly reported species, ranking 9th across the state in 2017
    • The average size of fish measured was 564mm
    • Fishers reported an overall catch rate of 1.13 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 64% of fish reported in 2017 were released
    • 89% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • The peak periods for Saddletail Snapper catches in 2017 was during July


    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.

    data pending


    A snapshot of local Sportfishers (Suntag) 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 Saddletail Snapper in Cairns (see Area Fished section) represented 10.5% share of the total statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate increased from 32.4 kg/fisher/day in 2016 to 73.3 kg/fisher/day in 2017
    • The number of active licenses has ranged from 6-19 over the past decade with 14 licenses active in 2017
    • Commercial Catch in 2017 was 6.38T, compared to 2.95T in 2016.


    Townsville Saddletail Snapper Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • 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
    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.