NSW Snapper tagging success!


MANAGING and looking after some of our most popular angling targets is often somewhat overlooked by the broader fishing community.


However, the NSW Research Angler Program, headed up by Dr Julian Hughes and ANSA NSW’s Stan Konstantaras and Chris Anagnostou have formed an alliance to gather crucial data on our most sought after species.


The Jewfish or Mulloway Tagging Program started several years ago, and with army of recreational anglers state wide it was not long before jewfish from 65cm to over 150cm were swimming around with an allocated number awaiting recapture. To date the program has tagged about 2000 Jewfish and a notable 120 recaptures reported, some travelling incredible distances of over 100km.


This data has not only provided growth rate, survival and travel movements, but helps to better formulate strategies to manage stock levels of this species for future generations.


Not satisfied with the success of the Mulloway program the guys set their sights to another popular angling target on our East Coast – the snapper. This and a few other species were always part of the bigger plan but the mulloway was to be the catalyst for future tagging programs.


Weather, seasonal fishing and of course eating qualities were a few variables that would counteract getting solid numbers of tagged snapper swimming around ready to hopefully be re-caught and supply valuable data.


That’s where one of the more popular catch & release snapper tournaments held each year, The Dave Irvine Memorial Classic, was utilised. Personally I try to attend most years were I can and each year seems to get better and better. This year was the 10th anniversary and a perfect way to start the Snapper Tagging Program. Teams were hand selected on angling ability and tagging knowledge as the event organisers and Stan and Chris from ANSA NSW wanted to keep the time from water as minimal as possible for best survival rate.


As it turned out it was one of the most successful Dave Irvine Memorial classics to date with 90 teams and 221 anglers catching and releasing 867 legal snapper, with an average size of 49.9cm. The biggest was 91.7cm. With such impressive figures the tagging teams went well and 107 fish were tagged with average size of 65.6cm and ironically Team “Newtag” tagged the largest at 89.5cm.


With such a great result to date for the Mulloway Tagging program and an excellent start to the Snapper Tagging I’m certain we will hear more about it in the future!





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