Fitzroy River anglers break huge Barra records
ANGLERS are reeling in record amounts of barramundi from the depths of the mighty Fitzroy River - and we're only halfway through the season.
According to Infofish Australia's "Crystal Bowl”, the catch rate for legal size fish in the Fitzroy River is at a record high of 1.3 fish per fisher per day, which is well above the Crystal Bowl forecast of 0.6-0.8.
Crystal Bowl is a program developed to track catch rates, fish sizes and other parameters in real time for barramundi in the Fitzroy River and provides forecasts for each season. This is a unique service that is not available outside central Queensland
The 1.3 fish per fisher per day is the highest catch rate for the Fitzroy River in over 15 years and a remarkable 123% higher than the catch rate for last season.
Local manager of Infofish Australia, Bill Sawynok, said based on the current catch rate, Infofish have revised the forecast from the whole season to 1.0-1.4 fish per fisher per day.
"In line with a record number of posts of trophy sized barramundi on social media the proportion of trophy fish over 1 metre in the catch has jumped from 1% last year to almost 4% this year with almost all being released again,” Mr Sawynok said.
According to Infofish, Fitroy River barramundi sizes are also at an all time high with an average length of 671mm - 20% higher than last year.
In the past 20 years, the minimum legal length of 580mm has only been exceeded four times while it has only once before exceeded 600mm at 608mm.
Infofish also noted a strong recruitment of baby barramundi, with numbers of fish from 200-350mm being recorded in the river and adjacent wetland nursery areas.
Barra Jacks Rockhampton's Stephen Pill was thrilled with the barra season so far.
"Given the dirty water conditions in January
and following the recent flood there have still
been a lot of quality fish caught in the river, so
it is not surprising to
see the statistics for the first half of the season,” Mr Pill said.