Fresh­wa­ter fish­ing sea­son ex­tended

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times News - Tari Jeffers

IT is hoped lift­ing the an­nual twom­onth fresh­wa­ter fish­ing ban in July and Au­gust will help pro­mote tourism and pre­vent ju­ve­nile marron, trout and other na­tive fish fall­ing prey to feral redfin perch.

State Fish­eries Min­is­ter Dave Kelly an­nounced on Satur­day the an­nual sea­sonal clo­sure on se­lect dams would be lifted start­ing from next year.

More than 637,000 trout grown at the fish­eries’ hatch­ery and re­search cen­tre near Pem­ber­ton would be re­leased into se­lected rivers and dams to help main­tain the State’s “pop­u­lar” fresh­wa­ter fish­ing ac­tiv­ity.

“Re­mov­ing the July-Au­gust clo­sure, from 2018 and on­wards, has a num­ber of eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing sup­port­ing re­gional tourism and pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for fam­i­lies to spend qual­ity time to­gether outdoors,” Mr Kelly said.

Aus­tralis Fish­ing owner Jim Ki­tis said he sup­ported the sen­ti­ment be­hind us­ing fresh­wa­ter fish­ing to pro­mote re­gional tourism.

“I would like to see more trout put into wa­ter­ways in and around the Pem­ber­ton re­gion and other ar­eas that have been neg­a­tively af­fected by the loss of in­dus­try,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the sea­son ex­ten­sion was a re­sult of on­go­ing fish­eries re­search and stock mon­i­tor­ing, which had iden­ti­fied the en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic ben­e­fits of re­mov­ing the sea­son clo­sure.

He added the change in­creased op­por­tu­ni­ties for li­censed anglers to sup­port the en­vi­ron­ment by re­duc­ing the numbers of feral redfin perch.

Mr Ki­tis ques­tioned why – be­cause redfin were con­sid­ered ver­min – anglers needed to pay for a li­cence to fish for redfin as they were a dan­ger to na­tive fish and ju­ve­nile marron.

Visit www.rec­fish­west.org.au for more in­for­ma­tion.

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