SRFR Meeting #49 - 24 November 2017

Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable Forum #49

Forum date: Friday November 24th 2017

Location: Victorian Fisheries Authority, Level 15, 1 Spring St., Melbourne. 3000

Chair's Summary

Key discussion items from State-wide Roundtable meeting #49

  1. Presentation by Paul Hamer, Scientist, Victorian Fisheries Authority re the monitoring of fish populations in Port Phillip Bay.
  2. Update of activities of the Australian Trout Foundation. – Ray Buckland, Vice President ATF
  3. Current VRFish activities and projects – Michelle Werner.
  4. Report on the VicFish kids program – Belinda Yim, Victorian Fisheries Authority.
  5. Update of the Social Media activities of the Victorian Fisheries Authority – Lauren Hall.
  6. Review of the 2017 "Target One Million" achievements– Brian Mottram/ Anthony Forster.

Paul Hamer -- Scientist, Victorian Fisheries Authority

Paul spoke about the monitoring of fish populations in Port Phillip Bay. The program targets species in their early life stages, during their first year of life.


  • Port Phillip Bay is a key driver of stock, providing spawning and nursery grounds.
  • The VFA has been working with South Australia for Western stock and with NSW and Queensland for Eastern stock.
  • The Eastern and Western stocks do not interact as genetically determined.
  • Variances in the Yarra River flows have a major effect on the survival rate of baby snapper.

Sand flathead:

  • Relatively low recruitment has kept stocks down.
  • Ecological factors in PPB can limit growth and reproductive rates. Males may not reach catch size even at 15 years.
  • There is a relationship between water flow and nutrient input and recruitment – too high or too low nutrient levels have an adverse effect.

King George whiting:

  • KGW do not spawn in PPB. The larvae drift in currents into the bay where they spend the first years of their life.
  • Juveniles have been sampled from seagrass areas within the bay.
  • The likely spawning areas are along the south east coast of South Australia in the Coorong area.
  • They can remain in PPB for up to 4 years where they may reach 38-40cm.
  • With a 20 year life span, from 4 years onwards is spent in the ocean.

Black bream:

  • This program has only been running for 7 years so data is limited.

Ray Buckland – Vice President Australian Trout Foundation

Ray spoke on:

  • Work the ATF has been undertaking with agencies to help rebuild habitat along waterways.  The ATF and its members are passionate in this area and see the benefit of working together to achieve multiple benefits for the environment and recreational fishing.
  • Strategies:
    • Conservation
    • Sustainable fisheries
    • Being part of the movement
    • Education
  • Best practice ideas

Sarah van Stokrom – Statewide Co-ordinator - FishCare

FishCare have been busy with participation in a number of projects involving the promotion of fishing with:

  • Building partnerships
  • Helping with the VFA Vic Fish Kids events
  • The Hooked on Portland and Hooked on Lakes events
  • The Education Centre
  • Schools
  • Parks Victoria
  • YMCA
  • The Creative Anglers program is in its second year of funding
  • Recruiting younger volunteers
  • FishCare currently has approximately 70 volunteers in Victoria.

Michelle Wenner - VRFish

Michelle reported that the VRFish Priority Survey has been completed by 1856 anglers. The majority of respondents were 45-54 year old males.

Priorities identified:

  • Habitat
  • Fish numbers
  • Enforcement
  • Fishing facilities
  • Education
  • Science

Actions identified:

  • Control of pest species
  • Research of declining fish populations
  • Restoration of habitat
  • Target water condition and flows
  • Education of children and best practice techniques

Belinda Yim – Events and Engagement Manager – VFA

Belinda gave details and statistics from the very successful Vic Fish Kids program that has been held around Victoria over recent months.  The VicFish kids program held 6 events and had more than 4,000 people attend.  There was great mix of demographics with many boys and girls receiving a new fishing rod as part of the program.

Lauren Hall – Social Media Officer - VFA

The VFA has a fast growing audience on social media, with 37,000 followers on Facebook, 3402 on Instagram, 170 on Twitter and 180 on Snapchat.

Social media allows the VFA to give information on stocking, regulations, events and many other fish related activities.

The VFA is communicating a wide range of people on social media with many questions raised and answered on a daily basis.

Brian Mottram and Anthony Forster – Victorian Fishing Authority

Brian and Anthony gave an update on the highlights and achievements of a massive 2017.  A whole range of new activities have been delivered to help make things better for our recreational fishing now and into the future.

These things don't just happen but are delivered due to the opportunities and partnerships forged across the industry.

Key deliverables for 2017

  • Vic Fish Kids
  • Buyout of netting in PPB
  • Snobs Creek 70th anniversary
  • Water and fish into Toolondo
  • Better Fishing Facilities projects
  • $2000 Stronger Fishing Club grants
  • Defibrillator grants
  • Building community relationships
  • Barramundi in Hazelwood
  • Banning of netting in Gippsland Lakes river mouths
  • Changes to Blue Rock boating regulations
  • Marine stocking of mulloway and estuary perch
  • The establishment of the VFA
  • Expansion of the Trout Festivals
  • School education programs
  • Snobs Creek increased breeding and stocking
  • FADs, Facilities and Reefs
  • Talk Wild Trout conference
  • Murray Codference
  • Draft Freshwater Fisheries Management Plan
  • Increased fish stocking
  • Draft Freshwater Fisheries Management Plan

Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable #48

Chair: Merv McGuire

Secretariat: Julie Morgan

Summary dated: 06/10/2017