Spanish Mackerel are a popular food species due to their size and the ability to create fish steaks.

  • 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 0.15 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Townsville ranked 13th in the state for Spanish Mackerel Catch Rates
    • Commercial Catch rate decreased in 2017 (91.9 kg/fisher/day) from 69.7 kg/fisher/day in 2016


    Quality of the Fish

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported an average length of 936mm in 2017
    • Townsville ranked 12th in the State for the average length of Spanish Mackerel in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 33.5T, compared to 19.9T in 2016


    Community Attitudes

    • 64% of fish reported by recreational fishers in the 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys were kept
    • 82% of fish reported in 2017 were caught by locals
    • Townsville ranked 5th in the state for the number of fish released
  • 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 270 and 290mm
    • Recruitment is likely to be moderate


    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.

  • Sportfishers

    Spanish Mackerel as a Sports Species

    Spanish Mackerel are a prized sports species in most locations across Queensland. In Townsville, Spanish Mackerel are targeted by Sportfishers and commercially. No Spanish Mackerel have been reported in Mackay in 2018, so far.

    A snapshot of Sportsfishers catch data is available:

    Local Sportfishers

  • 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 Townsville report catching Spanish Mackerel with most being kept. Monitoring began in 2017 and continues in 2018.

    • Spanish Mackerel were not commonly reported in Townsville in 2017, ranking 21st
    • An average length of 936mm was reported by fishers in 2017
    • Fishers reported a catch rate of 0.15 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • 64% of fish reported in 2017 were kept
    • The peak period for Spanish Mackerel catches in 2017 was during July


    Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys monitoring dashboard


  • 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 Spanish Mackerel in Townsville represented 6.22% of the statewide catch in 2017. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Commercial Catch rate increased in 2017 (91.1 kg/fisher/day) from 69.7 kg/fisher/day in 2016
    • The number of active licenses has fluctuated between 35 and 52 over the past decade with 35 active in 2017
    • Commercial catch in 2017 was 33.5T, compared to 19.9T in 2016


    Townsville Spanish Mackerel Commercial Catch Dashboard



  • Recruitment

    Monitoring of Spanish Mackerel Recruitment

    Spanish Mackerel recruitment is not currently assessed in Townsville.


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Spanish Mackerel

    Data for this assessment has been sourced from:

    • Bureau of Meteorology
    • Queensland Fisheries
    • Local Sportfishers and Suntaggers


    Here are links to all the monitoring pages for Spanish Mackerel:

  • Fishing Area

    Area Assessed

    Spanish Mackerel 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.