Catch! - Recreational fishing news from Fisheries, Western Australia
Issue No. 35, January 2018

Popular marron fishery opens

A marron basking on a log beside a waterway

Thousands of West Australians are heading to South West dams and rivers for the 2018 marron season, which runs from noon on 8 January to noon on 5 February.

The limited four-week season and comprehensive fishing rules makes this fishery one of the most carefully managed recreational fisheries in Australia.

Our Compliance and Education officers will be visiting fishing locations to ensure fishers know and follow the rules. More.

Stay safe while abalone fishing

A group fishers taking abalone from a shallow surf reef

Changes to the West Coast Zone recreational abalone fishery have helped ensure a safe start to the summer season.

With three fishing days left on 13 Janaury, 3 February and 17 February, from 7 am to 8 am, the message for fishers is to think about safety at all times and not take risks or enter the water if conditions are dangerous.

If severe weather is forecast, we may close and reschedule fishing days on the advice from Surf Life Saving WAMore.

Catch onto West Coast demerals

Close up of a school of silver dhufish

Fishers can again catch demersal species in the West Coast Bioregion (between Kalbarri and Augusta), with the season opened again from December 16.

The annual two-month closure helps to reduce pressure on overfished demersal finfish – including dhufish, pink snapper and baldchin groper – and allow their stocks to recover.

Fishers should note that Cockburn Sound is still closed to pink snapper fishing until 31 January (inclusive) to protect breeding aggregations. More.

Improving beach safety

BEN signs showing the information on the front and back

Regional councils from Geraldton to the South Australian border can now apply for Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signage to provide beachgoers with vital location information to help emergency services respond to serious incidents.

The BEN signs are part of the State Government’s commitment to strengthen emergency measures, following the fatal shark bite incident at Falcon in 2016 that claimed the life of Ben Gerring.

The locations of the uniquely coded signs will be recorded with emergency services. More.

Cockburn crabs still recovering

Close up of a blue swimmer crab on a sandy ocean floor

Summer is traditionally crabbing time but Cockburn Sound remains closed to blue swimmer crab fishing to protect the breeding stock.

The closure is an important measure for the recovery of the crab stock after our monitoring programs showed a significant decline in the number of crabs in the Sound due to environmental and biological factors.

Anyone caught crabbing in Cockburn Sound risks a $400 infringement notice for a first offence ‒ and further offences attract mandatory penalties and higher fines. More.