New study to investigate yellowtail Vic kingfish populations

A great kingfish fishery is a priority for the Victorian State Government.

A NEW two-year study, funded by recreational fishing licence fees, will improve our understanding of prized kingfish populations along the Victorian coast.

Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said a great kingfish fishery was part of the State Government’s Target One Million plan to get one million Victorians fishing by 2020.

“Kingfish have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity amongst saltwater anglers who consider them great sport and very good eating,” Mr Dowling said.

“On a single day last February, around 100 boats actively targeted kingfish near the entrance to Port Phillip Bay so we know Melbourne’s anglers are very keen on the species.

“They are also caught off the coast all the way from Portland to Mallacoota, typically from in-shore waters close to reef or submerged structures.

“Fisheries managers want to learn more about kingfish populations including their growth rates, population structures and spawning habits.

“This information will help us sustainably manage the fishery for future generations.

“The study will determine whether kingfish caught in Victorian waters are from a single stock or multiple stocks.

“It will also trial the use of satellite tags to better understand kingfish movement patterns, including depth and water temperature preferences.”

Mr Dowling said keen anglers could help with the study by donating kingfish frames and keeping records of their catches this summer.

“Scientists will extract otoliths (ear bones) from kingfish frames to determine their age and use chemistry analyses to investigate kingfish temperature preferences.

To register interest in helping, anglers should contact Dr Corey Green, the study’s lead fisheries scientist, by calling (03) 5258 0275 or emailing

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