Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group Meeting 5
17 MAY 2010 - HOLMESGLEN RURAL LEARNING CENTRE, MOORE ROAD, EILDON VIC. 3713.
Independent Chair's Summary
This was the fifth meeting of the Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group, established in September 2009. Key issues discussed in the meeting included:
- Tours of Goulburn & Rubicon Rivers and DPI's Fish hatchery
- DSE Presentation – River Health
- DPI Presentation – Marketing & Communications
- DPI Presentation – Update on RFGP Fisheries Research Branch projects
- DPI Presentation – State-wide fish stocking
- DPI Presentation – Expanded stocking trial for Kerang Lakes
- DPI Presentation – Angler surveys in Murray cod fisheries (sections of the Murray River (northern Victoria) and Loddon River)
Scoring Criteria for Large Grants Program
- Progress on Projects Previously Approved to Receive RFL T/A funding
- Project Management Fees
- 2009/10 Small Grants Program Applications
- Terms of Reference
Tours of Goulburn & Rubicon Rivers and DPI's Fish hatchery
Christine Glassford, UG Waterways Team Leader, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority led the Working Group on a tour of Thornton Beach (in-stream fish habitat structure and angler-access improvement) and a tour of the Rubicon River (LUNKER installation & fish habitat improvement study) to demonstrate the completed outcomes of a number of prior year RFGP projects funded by RFL T/A revenue.
A tour of DPI's Fish Hatchery, located at Snobs Creek followed and the Working Group learnt about the practice of rearing fish from the type of food required, water temperatures necessary, breeding practices and characteristics of different species.
DSE Presentation – River Health
Dr Ian Rutherfurd, Director Integrated River Health Policy, DSE, delivered a presentation on the work that the DSE does for river health that is beneficial to fish and recreational fishing.
The Working Group noted the intent of DSE to more closely align their work and desired outcomes with those of anglers'.
The Working Group noted the desire of DSE to communicate completed outcomes to anglers more effectively and efficiently.
DPI Presentation – Marketing & Communications
Marc Ainsworth, Communication Manager, DPI provided a presentation regarding Fisheries Victoria's current approach to communicating the 'Your Fishing Licence at Work' message and promoting the benefits to Victorian recreational fishing due to the annual Recreational Fishing Grants Program.
The Working Group agreed that communicating outcomes of completed projects to anglers, in particular research reports, is a high priority, ongoing.
DPI Presentation – Update on RFGP Fisheries Research Branch projects
Jon Presser Director, Fisheries Research Branch provided an overview of eight Recreational Fishing Grants Program research projects currently being conducted by Fisheries Research Branch and advised of anticipated completion dates.
The Working Group noted Mr Presser's advice regarding the improved process for reporting on the progress and completion of research projects and that it is expected that currently outstanding research project reports will be completed by 30 June 2010.
DPI Presentation – State-wide fish stocking
John Douglas, Senior Project Officer (Inland Fisheries) provided a presentation to the Working Group on the State-wide fish stocking process. Government priorities require stocking number of about 1.5 million salmonid and native fish annually. The stocking program is developed by Fisheries Victoria in consultation with anglers. The Recreational Fishing Grants Program will contribute $200,000 (GST exclusive) ongoing of RFL Trust Account funds, to support fish stocking throughout Victoria.
The Working Group noted the consultation process undertaken by Fisheries Victoria in relation to state-wide fish stocking, the process of engaging recreational fishing stakeholders in fish stocking and the proposed number of fish to be stocked during 2010/11.
DPI Presentation – Expanded stocking trial for Kerang Lakes
Fisheries Research Branch, Department of Primary Industries, received $212,790 over three years through the 2006/07 RFGP.
Taylor Hunt, Fisheries Research Scientist Fisheries Research Branch, Queenscliff provided a presentation to the Working Group regarding aspects of the project which is seeking to answer the following questions:
- Do the stockings make a significant contribution to fish numbers in these waters (Kerang Lakes)?
- Do the stockings make a significant contribution to angler success in these waters (Kerang Lakes?
The Working Group noted preliminary findings after the second year indicate positive results for recreational anglers. The project continues with annual angler catch/fishery perception surveys followed by final fish population sampling and analysis of the results.
DPI Presentation – Angler surveys in Murray cod fisheries (sections of the Murray River (northern Victoria) and Loddon River)
Paul Brown, Senior Science Officer, Fisheries Research Branch, Snobs Creek provided a presentation to the Working Group regarding the major outcomes of recreational fishing surveys and how they linked together with other research & development such as post-release survival experiments and Murray cod population modelling including examples of how project outcomes were used to assist management of Murray cod recreational fisheries.
Scoring Criteria for Large Grants Program
The Working Group re-affirmed its recommendation that the previous grant assessment criteria should be amended to simplify the process for scoring grant applications e.g. using a high/medium/low system.
Members were asked to provide input into the development of a new assessment criteria model for further discussion out of session.
Progress on Projects Previously Approved to Receive RFL T/A funding
Since the commencement of the RFGP in 2001/02, RFL revenue has funded more than 295 projects across the State of Victoria to improve recreational fishing opportunities.
The Working Group received an update on the progress of previously funded RFGP projects that are yet to be completed. Currently there are 48 projects in progress, including 18 small events, 14 projects recently announced through the 2008/09 round of the RFGP and 5 Small Grants recently approved for funding by the Working Group.
The Working Group noted the status of 48 projects that are currently in progress and expected completion dates.
Project Management Fees
The Working Group agreed that 'reasonable' project management fees for RFGP projects could be funded, and that these would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
2009/10 Small Grants Program Applications
The Small Grants Program was launched on 29 March 2010. The Minister approved a disbursement of up to $220,000 (GST inclusive) to fund projects that improve public recreational fishing in Victoria.
DPI provided an update on the program and advised the Working Group that five projects had been approved for funding under the program.
The Working Group noted the progress of the Small Grants Program and assessed a further five applications.
Terms of Reference
The Working Group noted some minor amendments its Terms of Reference.
Next meeting: Monday 21 June 2010.
Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group