Barra boost for Lake Kununurra

LAKE Kununurra in northern Western Australia is set to become a recreational fishing asset for the Kimberley and a major drawcard for tourists, following the announcement of further barramundi stockings into the lake.

The Kimberley Training Institute will oversee the release of the barramundi as part of the Department of Fisheries’ Lake Kununurra restocking program.

More than 200,000 barramundi fingerlings averaging over 50mm in size were planned for release at the Lake Kununurra side of the Argyle Dam wall on Tuesday 13 May and Tuesday 20 May.

These fish are expected to grow to the legal recreational size of 55cm by mid 2015.

Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland said the project will create a unique “still water” fishery and provides a great opportunity to catch this iconic Australian fish.

“Barramundi growing in landlocked water bodies, such as Lake Kununurra are known to grow much bigger than those living in estuaries.

“One day Lake Kununurra may hold the record for the largest line caught barramundi, which is currently 44.6kg and held by Lake Monduran in Queensland.”

The project, which aims to reintroduce barramundi back into their natural habitat along the 55 kilometre Lake Kununurra, has been funded by the Department of Fisheries as part of the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.

“The breeding and monitoring associated with the project will provide data to help us and other agencies with conservation and sustainable fish programs throughout the state,” Dr Rowland said.

“The restocking program is an example of government, industry and research institutions working together to benefit the community,” Dr Rowland said.

Besides the social benefits, the initiative could also provide significant economic benefits for Kununurra and the East Kimberley.

Lake Kununurra is fast becoming known as a safe and accessible family fishing area that is not affected by treacherous tides or potentially dangerous crocodiles.

Recfishwest advocates for sustainable fishing resources and policies that ensure long term benefits to WA’s recreational fishing sector.

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