Don’t get caught out dur­ing barramundi sea­son

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Tom Zaun­mayr

Barramundi sea­son is upon us and lo­cal fish­ing clubs and the Depart­ment of Fish­eries are urg­ing an­glers to re­spect the rules when it comes to catch­ing the fa­mous fish.

Pil­bara barramundi sea­son, or PilBarra sea­son as The Pil­bara News likes to call it, runs over the warmer months when the fish feed vo­ra­ciously.

There are re­ports com­ing in al­ready of early sea­son catches in the creeks around Nickol Bay and the Sher­lock and Balla Balla rivers.

Wa­ter­ways in the Pil­bara do not hold the same es­tab­lished pop­u­la­tions of barra found fur­ther north, mean­ing re­spon­si­ble fish­ing prac­tises are vi­tal to en­sur­ing there is barra for all in the fu­ture.

State laws re­quire barra less than 550mm or more than 800mm to be re­turned to the wa­ter im­me­di­ately.

Depart­ment of Fish­eries com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Dy­lan Pross said max­i­mum size lim­its were de­signed to en­sure the pro­tec­tion of “big breed­ers”.

“Gen­er­ally, fish over 800mm are fe­male and can pro­duce up to 32 mil­lion eggs dur­ing the spawn­ing sea­son,” Mr Pross said.

Mr Pross said fish should be sup­ported along the length of the body when landed us­ing a wet hand or wet rag, rather than just pick­ing it up by the mouth.

“They have an in­di­vid­ual daily bag limit of two and fish­ers are re­minded that there is also a pos­ses­sion limit of two for Barramundi,” he said.

“This means you may only have two barramundi in your pos­ses­sion at any time, in­clud­ing in your tem­po­rary or per­ma­nent place of res­i­dence.”

Mr Pross said barramundi must be car­ried and landed whole.

The King Bay Game Fish­ing Club hosts an es­tu­ary chal­lenge in late Novem­ber where barramundi is the prize catch.

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