Barramundi are a popular local sports species.

  • Overview

    Overview - Crystal Bowl Rated Premium Fishery

    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

    • T20 Fishers (Sportfishers) reported a catch rate of 1 fish/fisher/day in 2018
    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported a catch rate of 0.05 fish/fisher/day in 2017
    • Whitsunday ranked 12th in the state for Barramundi catches based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    • An decrease in Barramundi Commercial Catch Rates was reported from 142.66kg/day in 2016 to 111.85kg/day in 2017 


    Quality of the Fish

    • An average length of 880mm was reported in 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys
    • Whitsunday ranked 1st in the state for average length of Barramundi (based on Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys) however, based on the small sample size this ranking is unreliable 


    Community Attitudes

    • 2017 Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported **% of Barramundi caught in 2017, were released
    • 100% of Barramundi reported in 2017 were caught by visitors
    • Whitsunday ranked 11th in the state for the release rate of fish



  • Forecast

    Limited Take For Consumption Advised

    NOTE: Limited take means recommended no more than 2 fish between 60cm-1m.

    Full 2018 Barramundi Forecast

    T20 Fishers

    • There will be a reduction in the percentage of legal fish in the catch due to the size range of fish spilling from Awoonga in 2017 being predominantly 500-700mm
    • Overall catch rate and catch rate for legal fish will remain steady but may increase if fish spill from Lake Awoonga again as is possible in early 2018 (Feb-Apr)
    • Catch rates in the Boyne River likely to be higher than for remainder of Gladstone Harbour due to fish spilling from Lake Awoonga in 2017 with little evidence of these fish moving beyond the Boyne River
    • Stock level to remain steady with natural and fishing mortality likely to be offset by additional fish spilling from Awoonga

    Commercial Fishers

    • Commercial Barramundi catch data for 2017 is only available for Feb-Sep and that indicates catch and catch rates are within the forecast range
    • Commercial catch and effort data will be updated when complete 2017 data are available

    Environmental conditions

    • Neutral to slightly La Niña conditions are forecast for the recruitment period (Jan-Apr) with an average wet season with neutral conditions for the remainder of the year
    • Forecast for Gladstone catchments is a 50-60% chance of exceeding median rainfall from Feb-Apr and rainfall to date suggests that conditions may not be conducive to good recruitment (expected)

    Heavy harvesting of Barramundi is not recommended. Natural recruitment of Barramundi in Gladstone is poor to moderate even in good conditions. Top up stocks from Awoonga maintain stock levels but this population is vulnerable to localizedstock reduction if Awoonga dam levels drop.


  • Sportfishers

    Barramundi as a Sports Species

    Barramundi are targeted by Sportfishers in the Whitsundays.

    • A total of four Barramundi have been reported in 2018 so far
    • Local Sportfishers reported a catch rate of 1 fish/fisher/day in 2018
    • The catch mix for 2018 is 75% legal sized fish and 25% undersize fish. No trophy fish have been reported in 2018 so far


    A snapshot of Barramundi reported by local Sportfishers 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. Recreational fishers in the Whitsundays reported catching Barramundi in 2017, with most being released. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Qld Fisheries Boat Ramp Surveys reported a total of 2 Barramundi caught in 2017
    • A Catch Rate of 0.05 fish/fisher/day was reported in 2017
    • An average length of 880mm was reported in 2017
    • **% of Barramundi caught in 2017 were released
    • 100% of Barramundi reported in 2017 were caught by visitors
    • The peak period for Barramundi catches in 2017 was during September


    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 2017 commercial catch of Barramundi in the Whitsundays (see Area Fished section) contributed 1.01% to the total statewide catch. Monitoring is ongoing in 2018.

    • Barramundi Commercial Catch Rates decreased in 2017 compared to 2016, with 111.85kg/fisher/day and 142.66kg/fisher/day reported, respectively
    • 11 licenses were active in 2017 with between 7 and 15 active over the past 10 years
    • An decrease in Commercial catch was reported in 2017 (9.06T), from 17.7T in 2016


    Barramundi Commercial Catch Dashboard


  • Monitoring

    Monitoring of Barramundi

    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 Barramundi:

  • Area Fished

    Area Assessed

    Barramundi are caught throughout the Townsville region and fish are stocked in the Russell. Commercial catches are assessed on Grids I21,J21,K21,L21,L22.