Huge boost for flathead stocks in NSW South Coast fishing havens!


AFTER being hard hit by bush fires and COVID, the NSW South Coast is set to benefit from a boost to recreational fishing opportunities following the stocking of almost 40,000 juvenile dusky flathead into the Lake Conjola and St Georges Basin Recreational Fishing Havens (RFHs).

Highly regarded as being one of NSW’s most popular and accessible sport and table fish, dusky flathead are a key target for local and visiting anglers in both RFHs.

A crew of enthusiastic local anglers – many of whom are involved in DPI’s Trophy Fishery flathead tagging program – assisted with stocking the fish, each of which measured about 25mm in length (although some were quite a bit bigger!). NSW DPI says, the stocked duskies should reach legal of 36cm within 2-3 years and have the potential to attain “trophy” sizes.


The juvenile flatties were bred by Narooma Aquaculture from wild stock caught on the South Coast with the assistance of volunteer recreational fishers.

The fish will be monitored by NSW DPI researchers with the help of volunteer citizen scientists. This work is designed to evaluate the growth of the fish, their movements and impact of fish releases on the recreational fishery.

The flattie stocking events in Conjola and the Basin follows research into dusky breeding and trial stocking operations by DPI’s Port Stephens Fisheries Institute. NSW DPI says it’s hoping to stock more estuaries along the NSW coast with dusky flathead as our production of these highly popular sportfish expands.


This project is a great example of anglers, the aquaculture industry and DPI Fisheries working together to increase opportunities for NSW’s $3.4bn recreational fishing sector and the local tackle, charter and tourism businesses which it supports.

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