JUVENILE mulloway have been released into WA’s Swan River as part of a three-year project funded by recreational fishing licences.
WA Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell helped release hundreds of mulloway into the Swan River as part of a program to boost numbers of the prized species – a favourite with recreational fishers.
Six hundred mulloway were released into the river this week as part of a three-year project.
The eight-month-old fish were around 25cm long on release. They were bred by the Challenge Institute of Technology under a Western Australian Fish Foundation project, supported by $280,000 in State Government funding.
Mr Buswell said the project would restore the abundance of mulloway in waters near the Perth metropolitan region.
“The mulloway is a favourite catch for recreational fishers. It can grow to 1.5 metres and live to more than 30 years,” he said.
“The anecdotal evidence is that stocks have declined in recent years and this project offers great promise to boost stocks.
“Today’s release follows another great initiative funded through recreational fishing licence fees to restock the Swan and Canning rivers with western school prawns.”
The Minister said the fish released into the Swan River had been tagged to help track their movements.
“The mulloway migrate between rivers and the ocean at various stages of their lives and these tagged fish are likely to be caught by either recreational shore-based or boat fishers from beaches and river systems along the west coast, so what is learnt from this project could potentially benefit stock enhancement in other estuary systems in WA,” he said.
Mr Buswell said in total, recreational fishers contributed around $6million in licence fees to the better management of recreational fishing in WA.
“In simple terms, licence fee funds go back to benefit recreational fishing,” he said.
The pilot mulloway stock enhancement project is one of a range of initiatives funded by recreational fishing licence fees. Others include the Department of Fisheries/Recfishwest artificial reef trial in the South-West.
More information on Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) projects is available at http://www.recfishwest.org.au