Aussie first as Rocky introduces new fishing code of practice
ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council are urging anglers to take a feed and not a fridge-full from the Fitzroy River in an Australian first code of practice.
It is an effort to monitor fish stocks in the Fitzroy River's waterways for future generations and ensure competitions such as the Barra Bounty can continue.
Infofish Australia aims to track the prevalence of various species of fish.
They have worked with council to establish a Voluntary Code of Practice for anglers to limit the catch.
The code asks fishers to take an online pledge to agree with undertaking responsible fishing practices.
They will be asked to return larger female breeding fish to the water, report any illegal fishing and to take home no more than two fish of a particular species per trip.
Council today granted Infofish $10,000 for real-time monitoring of Barramundi and King threadfin in local waterways.
Bill Sawynok from Infofish Australia said they were working to forecast fish stocks for each season.
"It's actually a world first in terms of monitoring in real time and what's actually happening in an estuary,” he said.
Bill said it was important to gather data about what is happening with fish stocks.
"If we are going to attract people to come to the Fitzroy, we don't want them to come here and get disappointed about a lack of fish,” he said.
It has been forecast between 200 and 400 Barramundi will be tagged during the course of the Barra Bounty competition, which starts today.
Bill said fishing regulations advise anglers can keep five Barramundi while the code of practice says two.
Infrastructure Committee Chair Councillor Tony Williams said it was vital to provide Infofish with the necessary resources to to monitor fish stocks and keep the waterways filled with fish.
Cr Williams urged fishers to avoid certain species at certain times of the year.
"We're asking people to go online and that's launched today, to take a pledge and make sure that we have got a sustainable resource into the future,” he said.
Cr Williams said council was looking to promote the Fitzroy River as a recreational destination and tourism hub.