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Moves to Stock Estuaries with Popular Species

There can be no doubt that the freshwater stocking program throughout Queensland has been a resounding success, not only within Queensland but nationally and internationally through the recent world record 38kg barramundi caught in Lake Tinaroo.
The financial statistics for this community-driven stocking program at Tinaroo amount to an annual outlay of less than $50 000 dollars per year, with returns of between 1 to 2 million dollars annually to the community, or about $31 per fish.
Estuarine (saltwater) stocking is in its infancy in Australia however, it is envisioned that like the freshwater 'put and take' fishery, saltwater stocking will be a major benefit to both recreational anglers and local communities in the future.
There are two recent examples of estuarine stocking in Queensland.

1. Barramundi in the South Johnston River (NQ)
2. Dusky flathead and sand whiting in the Maroochy River (SQ).

Both of these investigations have proven that stocked fish will survive and recruit into recreational catches.

With this in mind there are plans afoot to begin stock several waterways in the Gold Coast region with marine species, particularly Mangrove Jack.
The initial proposal is to consider the Nerang River system as a potentially sound location due to the lack of commercial pressure and the high volume of anglers with the potential of high volume recapture details. Other systems will be considered on their merit.
There is also a lot of interest in the stocking of several Trevally species both in freshwater impoundments and rivers as well as salt.
Really the sky is the limit and will only be affected by lack of funding for researchers and biologists.
The driving force behind this plan has been well known fishing journalist Dave (Nugget) Downie who will be hosting several public meetings in the Gold Coast area to gauge public support.
If you are interested in the plan or wish to have some comments, please contact him on 3287 3787.

Garry Fitzgerald.

Mangrove Jack

Copyright© 2000 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia