7 Dec 2018
Riverina anglers who fish on the Murray River near Tocumwal will have the chance to inform to fisheries management in the area, with a three-month recreational angler survey starting this weekend.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Narrandera Fisheries Centre Fisheries Scientist, Dr Nathan Miles, said the survey would span the peak summer season and would help DPI to understand and manage the fishery.
“The Murray River is regarded as one of Australia’s premier Murray cod fisheries with anglers travelling vast distances to enjoy the fishing,” Dr Miles said,
“Despite the fishery performing well for many years, we need information on fishing effort, and also what recreational anglers are catching, releasing, and keeping, which is important knowledge to assist in sustainable management of fish populations.”
Dr Miles said it was a challenge for fisheries agencies to ensure management practices were sufficient to prevent future declines and maintain quality sustainable fishing opportunities.
“The results from this survey will be used to help us learn about how the fishery is performing, to ensure recreational fishing opportunities exist for future generations, and that current management interventions are effective,” Dr Miles said.
“Knowing how many fish are removed from the river, how many are caught and released, the number of hours spent angling, and differences between sections of the river subject to a seasonal closure for Trout cod spawning and sections that don’t have a closure, will provide important detail on the recreational fishery.”
As part of the survey, NSW DPI staff will conduct regular visits to the river to survey anglers about their fishing experiences.
The anonymous surveys will take approximately five minutes to complete, with no discussions or observations shared outside of the project. Anglers will be asked to provide details on how long they have fished for that day, what species they targeted, what they caught, what they put back, what they kept, and their fishing method.
DPI staff would also like to measure all fish that the anglers choose to keep, as it presents a useful opportunity to gain more data about the sizes of local fish.
Dr Miles said that some anglers may be surveyed multiple times during the next three months, and urged all anglers to be involved.
“It is important to note that anglers are under no obligation to participate in the survey,” Dr Miles said. “However, the more surveys completed, the more accurate the data.”