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Jetty fishos helping science

ANGLERS who fish at WA’s Busselton Jetty can make an important contribution to science by simply filling in a catch card – and go into a prize draw as a bonus.

WA Department of Fisheries’ scientists and Busselton Jetty staff are asking every angler who visits the historic jetty (at the beach end of Queen Street) to grab a card, record details of their catch and drop off the completed card at the end of their visit.

Catch Cards are available from the Busselton Jetty Interpretative Centre or Department of Fisheries Busselton office. Once you’ve finished your fishing for the day and filled in your card, drop it in the Catch Card letterbox outside the jetty’s Interpretative Centre. Not only will you be making a valuable contribution to ensuring the health of local fish stocks, you’ll also have a chance to win in the six-monthly prize draw.

First prize is two tickets to the Underwater Observatory (including a 40-minute guided tour, jetty train ride and day pass) and second prize is a $50 Coles/Myer voucher. Congratulations to recent winners David Meek of Kelmscott (first prize) and Busselton’s Mark Ward (second prize).

The catch rates of finfish and invertebrates (e.g. squid, crabs) caught at the Jetty will be used to provide an indication of the abundance and diversity of local fish. By monitoring seasonal and annual changes, scientists hope to develop a better understanding of how factors such as climate change, coastal development and fishing pressure are affecting our fish stocks.

The Busselton Jetty is a prime location for catching tailor, Australian herring and various whiting species. Fisheries researchers involved in the “send us your skeletons” program also need your help. They need donations of fish frames (fish skeletons with head and guts intact) from these popular species for biological analysis. Please drop the fish frames, fresh or frozen, into the Department of Fisheries office in Busselton, or call 0419 192 101 to arrange for them to be collected from your house.

Anyone who takes part in “send us your skeletons” will be entered into another prize draw for the chance win a range of fishing related gifts, and for those fish frames donated before 1 July 2013, there is the main prize of a dream fishing trip to the Montebello Islands, kindly donated by charter fishing operators Montebello Island Safaris.

More details about the new State-wide recreational fishing rules are available at www.fish.wa.gov.au.

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