Yellowtail kingfish stocking in metro waters passes 75,000

  • Yellowtail kingfish are a popular recreational sportfish targeted around offshore reefs
  • Another batch of 5,000 juvenile yellowtail kingfish has been released off Perth
  • They will potentially grow to three kilograms within 18 months 
  • Some of the largest yellowtail kingfish fingerlings ever released by the research team at WA’s Marine Finfish Hatchery in Fremantle are now in Metro waters off the Perth coast.

    With an average weight of around 100 grams each, the 5,000 fingerlings were released last week. It will take around 18 months for them to reach the 600mm minimum size limit.

    Working with Recfishwest over the past two years, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Aquaculture Research and Development team has capitalised on their extensive knowledge and experience with ‘kingies’.

    So far 75,000 yellowtail kingfish have been stocked as part of an enhancement project for Perth’s metropolitan waters, and the team has also grown fingerlings for commercial production and for research into health and nutrition.  

    Boat fishers often catch kingies on nearshore reefs around Rottnest and Three Mile Reef, which runs along Perth’s north western coastline. However, they can also be found inshore and even off beaches or land-based fishing platforms.

    Yellowtail kingfish are hardy, fast-growing, and described as sport-fishing speedsters. They’re a great table fish and therefore also a popular aquaculture species. They’re categorised as large pelagic finfish, which have a mixed State-wide bag limit of three.    

    As stated by Fisheries Minister Don Punch:

    “I am sure recreational fishers cannot wait for some of the stocked kingfish to start showing up in their catch in a few years.

    “Some of the kingfish released in early 2021 will already be starting to reach the minimum legal-size limit.

    “I also need to recognise the work of the Aquaculture R&D team at the Marine Finfish Hatchery, who’ve worked closely with Recfishwest on the stocking of kingfish for metro waters and for 100,000 juvenile pink snapper released in February 2022.

    “Last year, as part of the McGowan Government’s recreational fishing stimulus package, we committed to three years of metro stocking programs as well as the barramundi program in the Kimberley.”

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