Part 3 transcript

Gooday, I'm Scott Gray and welcome to Part 3 of the Angler Diary Program Video series. Today I'm at the Victorian Fisheries Research Laboratory at Queenscliff. We are going to be talking to some of the Fisheries' Scientists about how the information collected in the Angler Diary Program is used. Let's go and take a look inside and meet some of the researchers.


Here we are with Daniel Brixty who's the Victorian Angler Diary Program facilitator, Hi Dan how are you going, good to see you. Mate can you tell me a little bit more about what happens once the diaries come in from across the State and they come into here, what happens then.

Dan – Yes, well we receive everything by mail and then they come to my desk or to somebody else's in the team. We open them up and go through each page to check if the data's consistent – always get some interesting comments in there, but then they go across to the data entry staff and in they go to the computer and we can see what's been happening.

Scott – So apart from entering the data and validating the diaries, what other things does your role involve?

Dan – Yes, well we've got 300 or so anglers in the program now. So there's a lot of information exchange with newsletters, and websites, and you know day to day communication with them. We also have some really interesting projects that we work through with angler diarists.

Scott – What are some of those current projects at the moment?

Dan – A really interesting one in Port Phillip Bay is these new recreational fishing reefs to enhance fishing opportunities for Victorian anglers.

Scott – What are angler diarists doing as part of the program to help get information about those reefs?

Dan – Well they're involved in going out to these fishing reefs. We have quite a strategic design where they attend to the reefs on certain days and certain times, and record their catches, and we're trying to track the changes in the catch before the reefs went in, and after the reefs went in.

Scott – So that's a really important thing I guess, a really important way that volunteers get involved in trying to monitor how well these reefs are going isn't it?

Dan – Yes, well it's about improving recreational fishing, so it's knowing what they're catching.

Scott – Sounds like a great project Dan. Are there any projects going on in the fresh water with regard to the Angler Diary Program at the moment?

Dan – Yeah, well as part of the bushfire recovery program, we're stocking trout into the Goulburn River.

Scott – Now the fish that you're letting go into the Goulburn River are actually fin clipped aren't they, so you know which ones have been stocked and which ones are wild.

Dan – Yes, exactly, and we've got 15 anglers in the Goulburn River at the moment recording, and they record whether they are clipped or not, and we can tell exactly where those fish came from. This helps us determine the effectiveness of the stocking in the River.

Scott – Right Dan, sounds like some great projects there. Now I'm going to head off and talk to another member of the angler diary team, so Dan thanks for your time. Good to talk to you.


Scott – Simon, how are you going?

Simon – Good Scott, good to see you……

Scott – I'm here with Simon Conron who is the senior fisheries researcher here at Queenscliff. I've got a few questions for you about stock assessment. What is your main role here with regard to the Angler Diary Program?

Simon – Well I'm a scientist who works here at Queenscliff, and over the last 15 years, we've been particularly interested in starting stock assessment of recreational fisheries populations. Stock assessment, it's about all the attributes of the fish population, including the abundance, growth, spawning success, mortality and the impact of fishing.

We've developed Angler Diary Programs, looking at the assessment of fish stocks. This is an innovative tool, working in partnership with anglers, whereby we get anglers to catch a broad range of sizes of fish, particularly black bream, estuary perch and mulloway to tell us more about the stock structure of the fish population and how we can predict how the fisheries going to be in the future.

Scott – It's pretty unique program, because you're getting information from anglers that fish for a particular species which is pretty unique, that you mightn't be able to go out and get using other traditional means, through say netting surveys and so on – so it's quite unique isn't it?

Simon – Yes, it's been a fantastic project. We've worked together with specialist bream anglers, perch anglers. They've got a good understanding of the fish stocks, and they can really guide us about what is the best way to sample both fish above the size limit and below the size limit.

Scott – We spoke in part 1 with Ken Radley in Warrnambool. He'd actually been in the program for a long time, so he's been collecting from over ten years, I think he's been collecting data for. So can you give us some specific examples of how Ken's information has been used to measure fish abundance.

Simon – Yes, well if you look at Ken's catch rate over time, you can see that his catch rates have gradually increased, and if we have a look at the size of the competition data, and Ken measures all the fish that he catches, you can see that there's a group of fish here that are now ten years old but have pretty well sustained the population over the last decade.


Scott – So as you can see information that's collected by people like Ken in the Angler Diary Program is really important and can be used as a stock assessment tool, which is vital for sound fisheries management.

Thank you, good to talk to you today.

There you go – Angler Diary Programs are an important part of fisheries management, and they create great partnerships between anglers, scientists and managers, which is important for sound fisheries management.

I hope you enjoyed the video today and if you're interested in angler diary programs in your state, check out your State Fisheries website.

Thanks and good fishing.