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Forecasting Barramundi Stocks


"Taggers/avid fishers catch rates do not reflect the catch rates of the total fishing population however as they are generally in the top 20% of fishers, their catches are more sensitive to changes in fish stocks and are comparable from year to year."

Fitzroy Barramundi Forecast 2017
Fitzroy Barramundi Mid Season Update
Realtime Barramundi Update
Realtime King Threadfin Update

OBJECTIVES

1. To live track fish sizes, catch rates, recruitment, trends in stocks for Barramundi and King Threadfin in the Fitzroy River.
2. To predict a year in advance stock sizes, catch rates, recruitment and trends in stock based on climate conditions and previous catch results.
3. To provide reatime feedback to the Rockhampton Community on Fish Stock Status.

OUTCOMES ACHIEVED

  • Of the forecasts for taggers/avids 6 (60%) are within the forecast range or within 10% of the forecast range and forecasts remain unchanged
  • Poor recruitment in 2016 has contributed to the slight drop in the overall catch rate compared to 2016
  • The catch rate for legal fish has exceeded 1.0 fish/fisher/day for the time in over 20 years and is the result of the removal of commercial net fishing and strong recruitment from 2013-2015 with those fish now legal size (except for some slow growing fish from 2015)
  • The catch rate for legal fish is 122.8% higher that in 2016
  • The average length of fish is 671mm in 2017 and the highest in the last 10 years and is 19.8% higher than in 2016
  • The low number of tags so far reflects the targeting of larger fish and poor recruitment in 2016 however numbers are expected to pick up in the second half of the season due to strong recruitment in 2017 (those fish are now 200-300mm and able to be tagged)
  • Moderate flow in Jan and flooding in Apr has also impacted on the numbers of fish tagged
  • Forecast was for moderate recruitment with early indications for strong recruitment however that is expected to ease back to moderate/strong as the season progresses

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