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Flathead Bag Limits.


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I've read about it on a couple of Facebook groups. Not sure what is behind this as, from what I've read, the DPI haven't publish their reasoning behind this. Personally I think we should have a slot limit, say 35 to 70 with anything over having to be released. But I'd like to see why they want to drop the bag limit before making a judgement either way.

Cheers

Rob

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I've heard about this on social media as well (so it must be true haha) and @Yowie it refers to dusky flathead.

What I really don't get is why are duskies treated with this kind of reverence? Its not like they're a threatened species and I'm catching just as many these days as I was 50 years ago.

You see guys getting crucified for keeping a 60cm flatty, yet others being patted on the back for bagging out on spawn run blackfish 3 or 4 days a week.

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good idea to reduce bag limits anyway, people cry on how they need to catch 10 a day to feed their family.

really.....

and as @Green Hornet says, yes, Ive been hammered over keeping ONE 71cm fish, even though my bag limit is one fish at that size.
But if I catch 10 fish at 69cm each.....

 

Edited by motiondave
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50 minutes ago, Rebel said:

The DPI has now said, Cockles which was a 50 bag limit is now a 20 bag limit.

Cheers.

Yeah, the locals have kicked up a real stink about visitors taking way over their legal limits in Lake Illawarra.

The problem now is they need the staff to police it.

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The issue has always been the staff to police the cockle collection.

I mean the main issue with the cockles was people taking well above their limits and the way I look at it, if they didn't care about about the limits before, they probably wont care now that its dropped. Its only when they get caught they probably will care and hopefully cop a worthy fine or community service.

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59 minutes ago, Rob81 said:

The issue has always been the staff to police the cockle collection.

I mean the main issue with the cockles was people taking well above their limits and the way I look at it, if they didn't care about about the limits before, they probably wont care now that its dropped. Its only when they get caught they probably will care and hopefully cop a worthy fine or community service.

Not just the limits. They were collected 50, drop the bag off and race back to get another 50, etc. Locals at Illawarra were starting to physical stop people. Was getting nasty

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They must be cooking up quite a storm of spaghetti vongole...

I'm actually quite curious about how bag and size limits are set. On the bag limit side, surely they must be estimating both the biomass as well as the commercial and recreational catch rates.

On the size limit front, there must be some biological imperative. I note that there is a notable discrepancy between QLD and NSW for sand whiting. NSW is 27cm, whilst QLD is 23cm.

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Dave I think you will find our 36cm Flathead are Duskys and there 32cm Flathead are Sand/Tiger.

Though its interesting to see that their Southern Blue Spot (Tasmania) have a minimum of 40cm where our Blue Spot are 33cm.

Though they are a different type.

NSW is P caeruleopunctatus and Tasmania are P speculator.

 

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11 hours ago, Little_Flatty said:

They must be cooking up quite a storm of spaghetti vongole...

I'm actually quite curious about how bag and size limits are set. On the bag limit side, surely they must be estimating both the biomass as well as the commercial and recreational catch rates.

On the size limit front, there must be some biological imperative. I note that there is a notable discrepancy between QLD and NSW for sand whiting. NSW is 27cm, whilst QLD is 23cm.

Bag and size limits are quite complicated, and is set on AVAILABLE data, which is hard to estimate, particularly when rec anglers are paranoid about providing any information, just in case it's used against them, so, at times scientific estimates are taken. Size limits are aimed at allowing for every fish taken to have had a chance to spawn at least once, it's also why closed seasons exist, to protect breeding species, some species have an upper size limit, because only bigger ones are females. Bag limits serve a couple of purposes, one is to prevent anglers from simply getting a "boat load" of fish to possibly sell for profit, or keep what they want and dump the rest (it happens) it's also set to try to regulate the natural biomass (fish numbers) of certain species, I am by no means a "greenie" I keep what I need (legally) but I don't see the sense in keeping everything you catch, only to toss it away later, if I don't want something to eat or for bait, I toss it back as best I can to ensure it survives.

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1 hour ago, Blackfish said:

Dave I think you will find our 36cm Flathead are Duskys and there 32cm Flathead are Sand/Tiger.

Though its interesting to see that their Southern Blue Spot (Tasmania) have a minimum of 40cm where our Blue Spot are 33cm.

Though they are a different type.

NSW is P caeruleopunctatus and Tasmania are P speculator.

 

Cool. Thanks for clarifying

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Just on the Lake Illawarra Cockle thing, I live a couple of minutes drive from the spot that was being "pillaged" by the Cockle collectors, and it was common to see plastic bags full in the boots of cars, entire families getting big 15l bucket full and carting them to the car, who knows what they were doing with so many, but Cockles taken by families would number thousands. There's plenty there, I don't see the need to get every Cockle in the water as quick as you can, might be the get in first mentality?

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29 minutes ago, noelm said:

Just on the Lake Illawarra Cockle thing, I live a couple of minutes drive from the spot that was being "pillaged" by the Cockle collectors, and it was common to see plastic bags full in the boots of cars, entire families getting big 15l bucket full and carting them to the car, who knows what they were doing with so many, but Cockles taken by families would number thousands. There's plenty there, I don't see the need to get every Cockle in the water as quick as you can, might be the get in first mentality?

I believe it s a "certain" nationality, from what ive read on anti social media, and its a big problem, apparently these groups have literally cleaned out some areas further south that the fish have left some bays and small rivers due to no food. 
the Lake situation is an on going, and yes, bags and bags being taken, by groups. 5 or so people would go out to gather 50 each, drop them into a waiting car, that car leaves, then another arrives, rinse - repeat. Ive seen the videos of cars full of them, locals trying to get them back and police having to stop fights. 
they do seem to have the mentality of take what ever they can (regardless of size) and resell or just store them. Ive also heard they collect them for some restaurants . 
Local police have a difficult time keeping up and its difficult to actually control whats happening. 
it was suggested an entire ban on cockles collecting at the lake, but locals complained they then could not get any for themselves. The point was brought up that do you want a flourishing lake? or a dead lake? Even though the actual areas able to be collected from, I think is only 10% of the lake.
short story long, its an issue that will always be heard until the hard word or law is put into place. Either close it up, or loose a lot of potential business from locals and others visiting the area to go fishing. 
its up to local politics to hammer down something.

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The cockles have been there for decades, and most people either didn't eat them, or just took what they actually wanted, rather than as many as you can carry! It's only fairly recently that it's been hit hard, don't really know why, but obviously someone found out about them and it was on for young and old. There is quite a healthy number of big single oysters if you know where to look, I hope that location doesn't get out.

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2 hours ago, noelm said:

Bag and size limits are quite complicated, and is set on AVAILABLE data, which is hard to estimate, particularly when rec anglers are paranoid about providing any information, just in case it's used against them, so, at times scientific estimates are taken. Size limits are aimed at allowing for every fish taken to have had a chance to spawn at least once, it's also why closed seasons exist, to protect breeding species, some species have an upper size limit, because only bigger ones are females. Bag limits serve a couple of purposes, one is to prevent anglers from simply getting a "boat load" of fish to possibly sell for profit, or keep what they want and dump the rest (it happens) it's also set to try to regulate the natural biomass (fish numbers) of certain species, I am by no means a "greenie" I keep what I need (legally) but I don't see the sense in keeping everything you catch, only to toss it away later, if I don't want something to eat or for bait, I toss it back as best I can to ensure it survives.

Thanks Noel,

One of the reasons I'm interested in this is because I'm halfway through a masters in applied statistics; things like size and bag limits now fascinate me. For all the reasons you mentioned, it would be a fascinating (and hard) exercise to be involved in. There are just so many variables that you need to estimate to arrive at this figure; average catch, biomass, average breeding age, seasonality/natural cycles and the list goes on.

Would love to one day be present in the DPI office when a review is underway.

Mike

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If the science is saying that there is a problem with duskies, then what changes are being proposed for the commercial take? It is a shared fishery and, if the science is saying that there is a problem, then both commercial and rec anglers need to work together to fix it.

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These type of threads always go down the path or pro V rec, you need to remember the only solid evidence/data they have to go on is pro catch rates (that was legally sold) we recs can provide nothing but a fragmented whinge. A couple of years ago there was a group of volunteers representing (I think) Fisheries, at my local boat ramps, asking people cleaning fish how many people fished, how many fish were caught and numbers of each species, most people told them to "get lost" because of paranoid thinking, but in a way, it was the only real way to gauge current fish stocks and fishing effort. Nobody owns wild fish stocks, but, it needs to be managed, whether that is by restriction, or bag limits or anything else is open for discussion.

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41 minutes ago, noelm said:

These type of threads always go down the path or pro V rec, you need to remember the only solid evidence/data they have to go on is pro catch rates (that was legally sold) we recs can provide nothing but a fragmented whinge. A couple of years ago there was a group of volunteers representing (I think) Fisheries, at my local boat ramps, asking people cleaning fish how many people fished, how many fish were caught and numbers of each species, most people told them to "get lost" because of paranoid thinking, but in a way, it was the only real way to gauge current fish stocks and fishing effort. Nobody owns wild fish stocks, but, it needs to be managed, whether that is by restriction, or bag limits or anything else is open for discussion.

I've heard arguments from people cleaning a bag limit of flatties, at the cleaning table and another on looker comments about why they need that many fish. 

If someone , at a ramp , asks me about my catch, I usually answer " I got one or two keepers". It's no one's business how many I do or don't catch.

Disclaimer, I've only bagged out twice on flathead in last 4 years, 2 fish, both over 70cm. 

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Yep, that's the usual response from rec anglers (unfortunately) if I am cleaning a legal amount of legal sized fish, people can say what they like to me, I would only keep my bag limit of Flathead from the ocean if we are completely out of fish, our family needs at least  6 Flathead for a "feed" so it's approaching the limit anyway, add a few for the deckie, it doesn't leave many for the freezer. Snapper I tend to only keep fish around 1-3KG, nothing bigger, as I said, I am no green tree hugger, it's just what I prefer to eat, and except for Kingfish, Bream and Trevally, they are the only fish I keep, everything else goes back unless I want some bait like Slimies or the like.

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Just to drift way off topic (kind of) how about this for a theory? Let's go back in time 25-30 years, there's 20 boats out at the usual ramps, each boat caught 5 Snapper each (on average) that makes 100 Snapper caught on one day, not fast forward to today, the same ramp now has 100-150 boats out, most boats caught a single or two Snapper, that makes more Snapper landed in a day than 25-30 years ago, but, they are spread out over 10 times the number of boats....sound feasible?

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On 11/18/2020 at 12:42 PM, Jiggy said:

Hey guys the NSW DPI have a livestream tomorrow night about dusky flathead

That session was really informative, some good tips on catching flatty's on bait and lure and some good education around the significantly positive impacts of returning large females as identified via formal research.

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