SRFR Meeting #44 - 9 September 2016

Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable Forum #44

Forum date: Friday September 9 2016

Location: Australasian College of Surgeons
250 – 290 Spring Street, East Melbourne 3002

Chair's Summary

Key discussion items from State-wide Roundtable meeting #44

  1. Update of the sustainability of Elephant fish and sand Flathead.
  2. Report on the trials of the instream trout incubators.
  3. The objectives of the "Shooters and Fishers"Party.
  4. Overview of recreational fishing projects being undertaken by ARI.
  5. VRFish activities and immerging recreational fishing issues, challenges     and opportunities.
  6. Update of the Gippsland Lakes netting consultations and various restricted access locations.
  7. Update of upcoming fishing community activities and FV fish stocking plans.
  8. Review of the accuracy of the Ernst & Young recreational fishing survey.
  9. Update of Inland Fisheries activities.
  10. Report on current Fisheries Management communication activities.

Bill Lussier- Manager, Marine and Estuary Fisheries, Fisheries Victoria

Elephant fish are being sustainably fished with CPUE above targets and meeting the limits set by the Commonwealth. The bag limit is set at 1. Indicators place the fishery in good shape.

A broader look at environmental flows of the Yarra is being taken to determine its effects on recruitment of sand flathead rather than introducing changes to bag and size limits.

Terry George - President ATF - Instream trout incubators  

Five incubators have been trialled in the Hopkins River. After 4 weeks they showed a hatch between 90-95%.

Further trials will be conducted next year with eggs potentially sourced from wild trout in Tasmania. These will be barium marked. Normal trout stocking will continue.

Daniel Young MP - Shooters and Fishers Party - Guest speaker

Daniel gave a presentation on himself and the Shooters and Fishers Party. He gave the Party's view on Marine & National Parks, opposing any new Marine Parks.

He expressed that many animal activities were politically at risk – including shooters, fishers, greyhounds, jumps racing and flat racing.

His Party is very small and currently deals mainly with shooters. Party staff are looking at the Murray River Parks documents.

Jarod Lyon - Arthur Rylah Institute

Development of fish ways and environmental water releases in the Tarago River are helping Victorian Recreational Fishers take action to improve fish habitat. Stronger relationships are being developed with CMAs to work together on habitat projects.

Looking to develop state report cards for the major Victorian fisheries.

The introduction of the carp virus (cyprinid herpesvirus-3) will be co-ordinated by the Commonwealth. It is expected that there will be workshops held in Victoria prior to Christmas with stakeholders included. There has been a great deal of discussion on the various risks associated with the herpes virus.

The Wild Trout Program has shown that more brown trout and less rainbow trout were caught in Victoria in 2016 than were caught in 2015. Of the rainbow trout caught in 2016, there were more that were larger than 20cm than those caught in 2015.  Full details of this will be available at the Trout Conference on November 5 2016.

Australian Bass in the Genoa River have shown no sign of natural recruitment in the past 20 years. They don't spawn because of the changed water regime. There is currently a good stocked population.

Estuary Perch in East Gippsland have shown no sign of natural recruitment for 9 years. East Gippsland EPs are genetically different to Barwon Eps.

The ARI Research Hub has received funding from DELP and is being re-coordinated for a better research impact.

It is thought that there has been misidentification of trout cod in the Murray. There is often confusion between trout cod and Murray cod when reporting catches.

Dallas D'Silva – General Manager VRFish

VRFish has a new funding agreement and a new strategic plan for the next 4-5 years.                 

The Victorian Government Response to Victorian Environmental Assessment Council's Marine Investigation Final Report has been released and includes reference to access and marine parks.

It appears the recreational fishing in Victoria is more advanced than in other states.

The VRFish Young Leaders group have had a 5 day intensive course. They have shown interest in participation on boards and all are very keen to develop their involvement in the industry.

A tip sheet on dealing with cod in closed season is now being put together to be presented at Cod Conference in December.

Craig Ingram – Fisheries Victoria

Gippsland netting consultation – approximately 50 submissions were received.

The State Government's election commitment to ban netting at the mouth of the rivers in the Gippsland Lakes has been met. There was a great deal of uncertainty about exclusion zones such as the mouth of the Nicholson River set well back in the inlet, and about gear markings prior to the review, with these issues now resolved.

There will be a celebratory fishing event next year at Lakes Entrance. The details are yet to be confirmed.

Access to Dartmouth Pondage is being followed with Craig now leading this process.

Kow Swamp is another key access point that is undergoing changes and The Victorian Fisheries Authority are working with agencies for continued recreational fishing boat and land based access at this site.

Brian Mottram -  The Victorian Fisheries Authority

There have been 17 RFL Grants approved for the 2015/16 year with a total value of approximately $1m. New applications for the 2016/17 season will open in October, closing on 28 February 2017. 

 The FV annual Report is now being prepared for Parliament. This will be available online and hard copies made available to the Statewide Roundtable members.  This will continue to be a requirement under VFA.

The Ballarat and Goulburn Fishing Festivals were conducted on 3 September at Ballarat and Eildon. Both attracted good crowds with over 1200 at the combined events. The hatchery tours were well patronised.

Gone Fishing Day will be held on the 16th October. Organisation of the national event is being led by Alan Hansard. In Victoria it will be a licence free day, allowing those without a licence to come and try it out. Many clubs are using their Stronger Fishing Club Grants to organise an event on the day to try to build their club membership.  The Victorian Fisheries Authority will be supporting several events on this day including an event on the Mordialloc Pier.

Consultation is taking place through the Regional Roundtables. These are being held at various Angling Clubs throughout the State as well as a series of conferences. The Port Phillip Bay Conference was held at Altona on the 12th August. The Talking Wild Trout conference will again be held at Mansfield on November 5th and the Murray Conference will be at Shepparton on December11th.

Fish stocking reached 3 million last year, increased stocking will result in more than 3.5m this season (2016/17) and 5m next season (2017/18). Fish will be released to some previously targeted waters plus some new waters and new species where possible.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority stand at the 4x4 Show was very busy throughout the weekend and was awarded runner-up for the best stand.

Ross Winstanley - "Getting the numbers right."

Ross spoke on the reliability of the numbers of recreational anglers provided by Ernst & Young. These figures do not follow the trends set by other States. A decline in numbers of anglers can be linked to an aging population and a decline in the retention of young anglers.

Tables were provided of angler numbers interstate and overseas.

Ross provided recommendations that there be a future comprehensive survey of recreational fishing participation, Fish activity, catches, social and economic data and fish attitude. Assessment of the impacts of boosting adult participation, and a study of what is stopping people going fishing are needed.

Discussion in this area highlighted opportunities to identify potential new anglers and past anglers and design methods to encourage these people to join in on this great pastime.

Tim Curmi - Native Fish Australia

Tim provided a report from Native Fish Australia covering trout cod and perch.

Marc Ainsworth - The Victorian Fisheries Authority

Gone Fishing Day is a "No Licence" day. Flyers are available and events are being listed on the Fisheries web page. Flyers were provided for the Talk Wild Trout and the Murray Cod conferences.

Social media - Facebook has had 151 posts with a 4.1m reach. Advertising for specific posts has been used to push to a wider market than our current followers, so attracting new followers.

Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable #44
Chairman: Merv McGuire
Secretariat: Julie Morgan
Summary Dated: 22/10/016

Next Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable Forum #45– 25 November 2016 at Level 15, 1 Spring St, Melbourne.