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Author Topic: Green light for Macquarie perch fishery at Lake Dartmouth  (Read 1201 times)

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Green light for Macquarie perch fishery at Lake Dartmouth
« on: July 12, 2012, 08:19:17 PM »
Media release: Green light for Macquarie perch fishery at Lake Dartmouth
12 July 12 - Victoria Fisheries Dept

 The impact of recreational fishing on the Macquarie perch population in Lake Dartmouth was very low
Results of a recent study show the Macquarie perch fishery at Lake Dartmouth is being managed sustainably.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Scientist Taylor Hunt said Lake Dartmouth was home to the largest naturally self-sustaining population of Macquarie perch in Victoria and one of the few waters where it could be taken by recreational fishers.

“Concerns had been expressed that the Macquarie perch population in Lake Dartmouth was in decline and a key part of the North East Fishery Management Plan was to assess its sustainability at Lake Dartmouth,” Mr Hunt said.

“The study compared angler catch data collected from the mid-1980s and 2000 to determine what changes had occurred to the population over this time.

“The investigations provided strong evidence that the population has declined, however the causes of this decline are unknown.

“To determine if the current level of fishing is sustainable, a team of fisheries scientists, including myself, developed a simple, age-structured model.

“The model synthesized information on natural mortality rates, mortality rates attributed to fishing and the size of Macquarie perch which anglers were allowed to harvest.”

Mr Hunt said the impact of recreational fishing on the Macquarie perch population was very low.

“More importantly the study showed that the current size limit protects the Lake Dartmouth Macquarie perch population from overfishing. This size limit ensures there are more than enough fish left in the lake to breed,” he said.

The researchers are keen to find out what is affecting Macquarie perch numbers in Lake Dartmouth, as this information will be critical to improving conservation efforts and the fishery.

The results of this study will be valuable in informing future management of Macquarie perch and Lake Dartmouth generally.

The study, published in the Fisheries Management and Ecology Journal, was a collaborative effort drawing upon skills and data from scientists and managers at Fisheries Victoria, Arthur Rylah Institute and The University of Florida.

Image: Victoria Fisheries Department
Caption - The impact of recreational fishing on the Macquarie perch population in Lake Dartmouth was very low


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