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NEWSCAST - Recreational Fisheries News October 2021 ..


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Have your say on proposed changes to Eastern Rock Lobster and Dusky Flathead recreational fishing rules! 

NSW DPI is undertaking community consultation on proposed changes to recreational fishing rules for Eastern Rock Lobster and Dusky Flathead.

The proposed changes for recreational fishers are:

  • Eastern Rock Lobster¬†‚Äď increase in bag limit from 2 to 3 per person.
  • Dusky Flathead¬†‚Äď introduction of a slot limit of 36 cm ‚Äď 70 cm (previously only 1 over 70 cm) and reduction of bag limit from 10 to 5 per person.
The Recreational Fishing NSW Advisory Council, which provides advice to the Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW on recreational fishing matters, developed these proposals and supported community consultation being undertaken.

We are encouraging all recreational fishers and the community to have their say.

Please read the short consultation paper on the proposed changes prior to completing the online submission form.

Submissions close 26 November 2021. 

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Applications for Recreational Fishing Trust Grants now open!

Do you have a great idea to improve recreational fishing in your local area? Fishers and community members are encouraged to apply for funding from the Recreational Fishing Trusts for projects that improve and promote recreational fishing across the State.

Anyone can apply for funding from the Recreational Fishing Trusts, including fishing organisations, councils, universities, community groups and individuals. Grants are available for both large projects valued at more than $10,000 in funding and small projects involving less than $10,000.

Project areas previously funded include:

  • fishing¬†access and facilities
  • enhancing recreational fisheries
  • recreational fishing education¬†
  • essential research on recreational fishing and
  • any other projects that benefit recreational fishing
If you have an idea big or small, please do not hesitate to contact us now! It is really easy to apply. Funding guidelines and application forms are available at our website and applications close on 3 December 2021. We can be contacted on (02) 4916 3835 or email recreational.fishingtrust@dpi.nsw.gov.au.
This is your fishing licence at work.
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NSW Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines

The NSW Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and NSW Fisheries Harvest Strategy Guidelines have been approved for adoption by the Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW, following public consultation and revision.

The policy and guidelines will guide harvest strategy development in NSW, promoting collaboration between Aboriginal, recreational and commercial fishers and other key stakeholders.

Harvest strategies are a best practice fisheries management tool, providing a robust and transparent framework for decision making, including setting commercial catch and effort levels and recreational fishing controls.

They will be developed by working groups with an independent Chair, scientist and economist, and representatives from commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fishing sectors, as well as DPI staff.

Introduction of fisheries harvest strategies is a key priority for NSW DPI Fisheries. Working groups for the Trawl Whiting, Rock Lobster, Spanner Crab and Mulloway fisheries have already been established. Additional Harvest Strategy Working Groups are in the process of being established, for Abalone and for key species in the NSW line and trap fisheries.

The Policy and Guidelines can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fish-harvest-policy along with a short video on how we use harvest strategies in NSW.

Harvest strategies are a key deliverable under the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-28.

 

Crab trap trial for Lake Macquarie 

Good news for Lake Macquarie crab fishers, DPI has implemented a trial permitting the use of crab traps in Lake Macquarie. The use of crab traps has historically not been permitted in the lake. As part of a trial, there will be a requirement for a maximum entrance width of crab traps to not exceed 32cm. If you have a wide entrance crab trap, such as collapsible rectangular traps, the entrance of these traps can be easily reduced using a cable tie, cord or similar. This will still enable crabs to enter the trap but will restrict entry of non-target species such as turtles and other air breathing animals. It is unlikely that any modifications would be required for rigid and round traps however, fishers should check their traps prior to going crabbing.

Fishers are permitted to use (and be in possession of) a maximum of 2 crab traps per person. For more information about the trial, head to the DPI website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.

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2021-2022 Survey of Recreational Fishing underway!

DPI Fisheries undertakes a statewide recreational fishing survey every two years, to gather essential information for carrying out assessments of our fish stocks and developing harvest strategies for key, popular species.

The next survey for the 2021-22 period is underway and involves telephone-diary surveys of recreational fishers across NSW. It will run till the end of November 2022.

The first phase involves trained interviewers making contact with randomly-selected current 1 and 3 year NSW recreational fishing licence holders. Fishers are asked to complete a short questionnaire to determine whether they have been fishing recently and whether they intend to fish during 2021-22. Fishers will then be invited to participate in a 12 month Diary Survey. 

So whether you fish a little or a lot, please help out if you are contacted to participate in the survey. The survey is conducted on a completely voluntary and confidential basis and is supported with funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trust. For more info on the survey, see the DPI website. 

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Download the free FishSmart NSW app!

Did you know DPI has a free app that provides recreational fishers with 24/7 access to essential info they need to know to fish in NSW, such as a picture guide of common recreational species, bag & size limits, closed seasons and fishing gear rules! We have also recently enhanced our real-time maps to locate your nearest FADs (Fish Aggregation Devices), artificial reefs, spearfishing info, recreational fishing havens and Marine Park Zones.

You can also quickly find your local weather, tide, moon phase and barometric pressure to help choose best time to fish and record your fish your very own catch log plus more.

Download the latest version of FishSmart NSW app from Google Play at¬†http://bit.ly/2hO7jLZ¬†or the iTunes app store at¬†https://appsto.re/au/FY3gbb.i¬†ūüď≤

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Do you catch Pearl Perch or Bluespotted Sand Flathead? 

Do you catch Pearl Perch and Bluespotted Sand Flathead? Why not donate your frames to the Research Angler Program (RAP)! Along with Mulloway, Snapper, Kingfish, Dusky Flathead, Spanish and Spotted Mackerel, we are now asking anglers to donate their Pearl Perch and Bluespotted Sand Flathead frames.

As with all of the fish collected as part of the RAP, we are interested in learning more about the age structure and reproduction of these important recreational species. Both of these species are highly regarded table fish and with many anglers targeting them, we hope to see plenty of donations!

If you would like to donate your frames to help out with this important research, you can check out your closest drop off location here  https://bit.ly/3mQR5Ty.

And remember, every frame you donate to the RAP gives you an entry into our monthly prize draw for a $50 voucher at one of our drop-off locations or a RAP fishing shirt. 

The Research Angler Program is another example of your licence fees at work!

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Oyster Reefs Restoration Project monitoring update

Monitoring of Port Stephens Oyster Reef Restoration project shows these reefs are¬†already improving water quality and supporting more fish!‚ÄĮ¬†

Although it takes many years for restored oyster reefs to function the same as a natural oyster reef, in‚ÄĮa‚ÄĮyear since the new reefs‚ÄĮwere created, they‚ÄĮare already filtering water, and helping to improve water quality, at over half the rate of natural oyster reefs!‚ÄĮ¬†

Fish numbers are up too! Fish abundance has increased by 10% at restoration sites and the number of fish species using the area has increased by 15%.‚ÄĮ¬†

NSW DPI Fisheries scientists continue to monitor the reefs, so stay tuned for more results.

This restoration project was funded by the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Australian Government's Reef Builder initiative.

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Help stamp out illegal fish traps

NSW DPI is asking the public to take a stand against illegal fish traps across the inland by reporting the activity to its Fishers Watch services.

Fisheries officers have observed more offenders attempting to take fish using illegal fish traps, as higher water flows have increased native fish movement across NSW inland rivers.

Since commencing Operation Guardian on July 1 this year, officers have seized 33 fish traps, issued a significant number of penalty notices and commenced prosecution briefs after catching offenders using fish traps on the Barwon, Darling, Lachlan and Murray Rivers.

These include:

A 57-year-old male from Lake Cargelligo NSW with 3 fish traps,
A 49-year old female and 50-year-old male from Cobar NSW using 2 fish traps near Tilpa NSW,
A 66-year-old male from Cobar NSW using one fish trap also near Tilpa NSW,
A 70-year-old male from Brewarrina NSW using 2 fish traps.

Four men (2 men aged 59 and 71 from Euston NSW, a 44 year old male from Merbein VIC and 47 year old male from Red Cliffs VIC) who are likely to appear in court for alleged fish trapping offences.

It is common knowledge that fish trapping is illegal in NSW inland rivers which can also indiscriminately drown turtles, waterbirds and other wildlife.

Officers will continue to step up patrols across these rivers over coming months using surveillance and technology to catch these offenders in the act.

Report illegal fishing to the Fishers Watch phone line on 1800 043 536 or report it via the DPI website at https://fal.cn/3gJWh.

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Botany Bay & Georges River shellfish reef restoration project forum, you're invited! 

Join in a free Virtual Information Forum about a new Botany Bay & Georges River shellfish reef restoration project, Wed, 10 November 2021, 5:00 PM ‚Äď 6:30 PM AEDT.

Hosted by The Nature Conservancy as part of its national Reef Builder initiative, with support from Local Land Services and DPI Fisheries, you’ll find out how the reefs are constructed and learn how they’re rejuvenating nature and the local community. We will also be taking a deep dive into restoration plans, monitoring outcomes to date, and leaving plenty of time for you to ask questions.

Shellfish reefs are important habitats that were once common in many NSW estuaries. These reefs provided important feeding, refuge and nursery habitat to many species, from invertebrates to birds. The reefs also filtered the water and protected the shores from erosion. By restoring shellfish reefs in estuaries, the partnership aims to bring back these natural benefits and increase jobs, volunteering, education and community engagement opportunities.

The Botany Bay & Georges River Shellfish Reef Restoration project’s goal is to restore shellfish reefs, across four sites, two in Botany Bay and two Georges River.

RSVP is essential as spaces are limited. Reserve your spot today at this link.

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White's Seahorse release in time for National Threatened Species Day!

Just in time for National Threatened Species Day last month, over 150 aquarium-bred, baby White’s seahorses were released into the wild across two Sydney Harbour locations as this threatened species recovery project gain more momentum in its hugely successful second year.

The White‚Äôs seahorse, also known as the ‚ÄėSydney seahorse‚Äô, is Australia‚Äôs only threatened seahorse species with populations declining due to habitat loss and degradation of their harbour home.

With the aim to recover the iconic White’s seahorses, this breeding and recovery project is a collaborative effort between SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, DPI Fisheries, Ocean Youth, the Gamay Rangers, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the Sydney Institute of Marine Science(SIMS), generous support from Taylors Wines and all those who support the campaign.

For more information visit SeaLIFE Aquarium website or to find out more about the White’s seahorse, visit the DPI website.

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What does this "slot limit" mean??

Does it mean that you cant take a FH over 70cm??

 

Not that I normally would but if a fish that size has sustained what would be a fatal injury when being caught & would not most likely live then that would mean that you could then not keep it in possession otherwise you could be fined?? 

If thats the case then I disagree.

I return any FH I catch over 55cm anyway but if a fish wont survive that that would be a waste imo!

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5 hours ago, kingie chaser said:

What does this "slot limit" mean??

Does it mean that you cant take a FH over 70cm??

 

Not that I normally would but if a fish that size has sustained what would be a fatal injury when being caught & would not most likely live then that would mean that you could then not keep it in possession otherwise you could be fined?? 

If thats the case then I disagree.

I return any FH I catch over 55cm anyway but if a fish wont survive that that would be a waste imo!

Yep that's the correct interpretation of the new recommendation KC. Slots are becoming more popular these days as a means of sustaining certain species. Take Murray Cod as an example. The slot is 55-75 with a limit of 2 per person per day. My personal opinion on that is bewilderment. At 55 they are sexually active and at 75 they are prime breeders. Any MC over 60cms is virtually inedible anyway as they have as much fat as I do. 

Regarding any fish (outside of the slot limits) which may sustain a fatal injury they still have to be returned to the water. Like you, I see no benefit in that, other than it prevents people keeping undersize fish and saying they were dying anyway.

Cheers, bn

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/29/2021 at 5:40 AM, kingie chaser said:

What does this "slot limit" mean??

Does it mean that you cant take a FH over 70cm??

 

Not that I normally would but if a fish that size has sustained what would be a fatal injury when being caught & would not most likely live then that would mean that you could then not keep it in possession otherwise you could be fined?? 

If thats the case then I disagree.

I return any FH I catch over 55cm anyway but if a fish wont survive that that would be a waste imo!

YEP

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If the occasional fish that is outside the slot  dies and has to go back it at least provides a feed for the rest of the eco system. 
There are things we can do to minimise this like :

Up size your lures , hooks and bait - Flathead are not usually a finicky fish so no need for finesse tactics.

Up size your tackle to minimise fight time,I know some like to brag about catching a big fish on 2kg line but research has shown that minimising the length of the fight and the time a fish is out of the water greatly increases its survival rate.

I fish for flathead for food and my personal slot limit is even tighter than what is being proposed and my bag limit was 5 or 6 anyway .

While I don’t like to see any fish wasted and in a perfect world where you could trust everyone to do the right thing we could have an addendum in there for fish that die during capture to be kept but as we don’t live in a perfect world and some would use that reason to be able to keep fish outside the slot limit so we have little choice but to implement these laws .

On a brighter note the creation of oyster reefs is a massive positive and although it will take many years to get the full benefits of this Al least we are going in the right direction !

Edited by XD351
To kill the spellcheck demonūü§£
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On 11/26/2021 at 4:57 AM, XD351 said:

If the occasional fish that is outside the slot  dies and has to go back it at least provides a feed for the rest of the eco system. 
There are things we can do to minimise this like :

Up size your lures , hooks and bait - Flathead are not usually a finicky fish so no need for finesse tactics.

Up size your tackle to minimise fight time,I know some like to brag about catching a big fish on 2kg line but research has shown that minimising the length of the fight and the time a fish is out of the water greatly increases its survival rate.

I fish for flathead for food and my personal slot limit is even tighter than what is being proposed and my bag limit was 5 or 6 anyway .

While I don’t like to see any fish wasted and in a perfect world where you could trust everyone to do the right thing we could have an addendum in there for fish that die during capture to be kept but as we don’t live in a perfect world and some would use that reason to be able to keep fish outside the slot limit so we have little choice but to implement these laws .

On a brighter note the creation of oyster reefs is a massive positive and although it will take many years to get the full benefits of this Al least we are going in the right direction !

Why not keep the bag limit where it is but make the legal size limit from 45cm to 60cm with 1 fish only over 60cm??

To me that makes more sense that taking the younger breeding population before they have had a chance to spawn. young!

 

If you can catch 10 fish between 45-60cm then you have had an exceptional & rare day & even less larger females taken!!!

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4 hours ago, kingie chaser said:

Why not keep the bag limit where it is but make the legal size limit from 45cm to 60cm with 1 fish only over 60cm??

To me that makes more sense that taking the younger breeding population before they have had a chance to spawn. young!

 

If you can catch 10 fish between 45-60cm then you have had an exceptional & rare day & even less larger females taken!!!

What I have heard is that lifting the bottom size limit starts to tilt to more females being kept which can knock the balance out of whack - look at Queensland and the mud crab laws where only males can be kept .

Do you really need 10 ? There are other fish you can catch to add to your freezer collection and a bit of variety too. There is nothing stopping you from trying for a different species once you have your bag limit or even keep fishing for Flathead as long as you let the rest go . I usually get a bit of by catch like bream and flounder and I can keep them if I choose so no shortage of fish to eat . In the long run it will mean more flathead being made which will mean it will be even easier to get that limit .

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On 11/28/2021 at 7:49 PM, kingie chaser said:

Why not keep the bag limit where it is but make the legal size limit from 45cm to 60cm with 1 fish only over 60cm??

To me that makes more sense that taking the younger breeding population before they have had a chance to spawn. young!

 

If you can catch 10 fish between 45-60cm then you have had an exceptional & rare day & even less larger females taken!!!

You have it backwards. The older/larger fish are the breeders. Flathead start breeding at 22cm in length. So by the time they reach 36cm they would have had about 10 spawning cycles (they have 5 a year between Nov to June).

I for one would much rather keep the size limit at 36cm and reduce the bag limit. Because in almost 20 years of fishing i have never bagged 10 dusky flathead in a day. Have you?

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