Fitzroy Net Free Zone

ronje
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Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ronje » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:49 am

Local happenings.

Talking to Bill Sawynok yesterday.

Capture (tagged) reports to hand have been 220 king threadies in last three weeks with 130 of them 1 metre longer or better. A couple of them hitting 1400 (plus change). One landbased report of 5 x 1m threadies in an hour. Only caught 5 fish, bagged out and took 'em home. River absolutely full of them at moment.

Threadfin numbers (king and blues) have boomed since the netting stopped.

Bill's a bit more serious now about getting extensions for the measuring boards for the Barra Bounty. It was a bit of a throw-away observation not so long ago but with over 30 fish longer than 1200mm ( mostly king threadfin but a barra or two as well) last year and what's been happening this year, the suggestion is taking on a new dimension (so to speak).

"King of the Fitzroy" comp coming up in August. Its a threadfin comp. That'll be interesting.

Overseas interest (Europe and USA- Florida) in fly fishing for big threadfin/permit/barra and Queenfish has ramped up.

New city reach boat ramp almost completed. Opening in a week or two.

Stocking of barra ABOVE the barrage starting to crank up. It'll be an alternative to the annual barra closed seasons. Give the guide guys (5 of them with 8 boats at the moment) and tourism fishing visitors another barra option during closure over summer.

No SIP fees involved. Like Awoonga.

The maths based on Fisheries stocking formula (impoundment surface area) gives about 300,000 fingerlings (50mm) per year. Currently only a 1000 or so per year ( bigger ones @ 200mm or so) put in annually. Local stocking group subsidised by Council.

Council interested in its own barramundi hatchery (started out as a grow-out facility idea and has now escalated a bit).


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Ronje

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Matt Flynn
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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by Matt Flynn » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:01 pm

You have to wonder why Fitzroy fishos had to wait until 2015 to get the nets out. Good job tho, congrats to those who achieved it.

I called Rocky/Yeppoon shops last week re work matters and they all seemed happy with the lift in fishing quality.

Interestingly though, while making calls I discovered that some NSW tackle shops I dealt with in years past have closed, and this is despite all the work NSW did with recreational fishing havens and artificial reefs etc.

I wonder why?

Box store competition?
People buying stuff online?
Not as many people fishing?

All the above?

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by fridgie » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:51 pm

Buying on line but also shops not taking up internet trading.no idea really d it is

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ronje » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:58 pm

I don't know if work that the NSW Govt has undertaken was thought through enough. Maybe it was too focused on acute problem solving and not giving sufficient thought to wider reform.

Maybe the NSW fisheries Dept is trying to manage fisheries for the benefit of NSW fisheries and not the actual resource owners (local communities). I don't know if that's the case there but it sure is an outcome in a lot of areas where Govt Depts operate. They become inwardly focused and self serving.

There's been large population increases along the NSW coast. Maybe simply not enough resource around to support more take or the number of equipment retailers.

Except for the SE corner, the Qld coast doesn't have the population density that's found on the NSW coast.


In the Rockhampton/Fitzroy experience the local community has basically taken control of its regional resource and is doing nearly everything itself. Govt basically sits on the sideline now and is

only asked to intervene when a compliance issue arises.

The Qld Fisheries culture is a throwback to the 1960s where they believe that they own the resource and will dole it out as they see fit.

The Fisheries Minister in Qld (a local Rockhampton man) made a political decision to ban nets (with a little help). The promise to introduce 3 net free zones in strategic places on the coast was the key to just winning the unwinnable 2014 election. He kept his electoral campaign word.

It was political decision so the Fisheries Dept had no say in the exercise. It had long been perceived that there was an unhealthy relationship between the Dept and the commercial sector in the resource allocation and management arrangements.

Now there is regional management of the resource and its working. The community is receiving a much better return on its assets than it ever received before. Dept of Fisheries was getting licensing fees and commercial interests (netters and retailers and transport companies) were raking in the profits. Locals saw very little except for some fuel sales, highly expenses product and lots of rubbish alternatives. Commercial fishing eqpt (nets, hardware etc) were sourced in Brisbane or Sunshine Coast.

Will it stand the test of time?

I don't know but at least the regional community now has the opportunity to manage its own resource in its hands. So far, its going well.

I only know what I read about NSW. Never fished there or been involved in any of the fishing sectors.

But I have this view that sitting back and waiting for change is a waste of time. As Mao said " It wont fall if you don't hit it".

In our case there was simultaneous coincidence of interest, right people in the right places and an opportunity arose.

Maybe that's what it will take in NSW. If it doesn't then nothing will change.

One thing I do know is that the Sydney Fish Market will not entertain a threat or any uncertainty in its product supply line. The Sydney Fish Market would be a much more formidable opponent to change in NSW than we Qld'ers saw here.
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Ronje

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by Matt Flynn » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:17 am

Huge benefits from the closures Ron, no doubt the Rocky community will reap long-term rewards from the return of the fish. More tourists and more locals fishing more often.

The fact some tackle shops in NSW closed may not be linked to fish stocks, it may be a structural problem. For example, Australian retailers of any product type have to compete with Chinese retailers on eBay who sell stuff at lower prices and "postage free" to the door. Dunno how they can do that, and I don't blame the Aust Govt for wanting to add GST to these overseas purchases, as they will need the money to pay the dole for all the Aussies put of jobs.

But it is interesting, given the increase in NSW population, that shops have closed. I'd like to know how BCF and Anaconda are doing, are they picking up this business, or is the money going to China?

Another thought ... NSW estuaries aren't as exciting as the Fitzroy.

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by Sullo » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:43 pm

Great for Rocky but.........

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ronje » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:19 am

BCF and the other longer established tackle shops are doing ok. Anaconda is the latest to open (about 2 years ago). BCF, Anaconda and Freddies are diversified with camping and boating which are perfect complement for fishing. Smaller tackle shops here just don't carry the range for 1 stop shopping. Could be the same in some NSW coastal places.

Tackle World (a late comer) here is closing. The owners (Geoff and missus) had a t/shop (still do) in Gove. She used to run it while he worked at refinery. He got put off so they put in a manager, packed up and headed here. Used the p/out money to open a t/world in Rocky. More competition in Rocky than Gove. Whatever's not sold here by end Sept ( when shop lease expires) is going to the Gove shop.

They're shifting to Yeppoon from Rocky and he's got a job similar to what he was doing in Gove only in the coal support industry.

Even with GST the o'seas internet shops are still cheaper than Aus and the chinese product quality is getting better.

Chinese sellers have taken note of what sells and have sent product to warehouses in Aus to cut down postage costs here. Bulk stuff going to the local warehouses with freight probably subsidised by Chinese govt.


Rocky recreational fishing/tourism is indeed benefiting Sullo. Fresh barramundi is still available nearby and the local seafood retailer is asking $40 kilo (capital city fish market prices) which locals simply refuse to pay. However, the days of fresh local barramundi are gone and the future is farmed fish. The Darwin barra farm recently received a few $million for expansion from the Northern Aus Minister's fund (local Rocky senator - Matt Canavan). That wouldn't have happened if farming wasn't the future.

Too many people in NSW. Over-governed.

Not so in NT but the main threat there is that the NLC stuff is out of control and hard to see that getting better. That's why I/we don't go there any more.
Regards
Ronje

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by JJLure » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:42 am

I'm pleased to see some people are starting to get some results.
However my own personal experience is vastly different from the scenario portrayed by commentators such as Bill & Ronje, and I often scratch my head in bewilderment wondering if there talking about a different Fitzroy River, as I live almost within site of the Sotuhside Boat ramp and fish the river on a regular basis, predominately lure & live bait fishing from a well set up boat and have been unable to catch anything other than cat-fish, eels & sharks for almost 3 years now. And as for Barra, well I never see any ever and am unable to catch one here after all these years of trying, and the vast majority of fishers I associate with have never caught one here either.
So a few are finding fish here, which is awesome, but many like me aren’t doing so well at all.

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ponyplay » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:45 pm

JJ one should never question the mayor of rocky

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by JJLure » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:45 am

Yeah ponyflay true, I do often bump into Margret though and have expressed my concerns as to the disparity between what's being reported, especially on social media and what it's "actually" like out on the water in the real world. There is fact and there is fiction, the truth lies somewhere in between.

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by Saltboy » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:06 pm

Hi Guys,

I don't claim to be an expert on this matter but I think there is more to NFZ's then just increase in fish numbers. I'm probably stating the obvious but I reckon the condition of the fish in these net free zones have improved "times a 1000" as well as the numbers. Here's a few King, 70-96cms' from the neap tides the other week from Mackay's NFZ area. They were fatties!! Plus a few other shots from a pretty good morning's fishing

Dave
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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by Sullo » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:41 pm

ponyplay wrote:JJ one should never question the mayor of rocky
:lolpoint:

JJLure wrote:Yeah ponyflay true, I do often bump into Margret though and have expressed my concerns as to the disparity between what's being reported, especially on social media and what it's "actually" like out on the water in the real world. There is fact and there is fiction, the truth lies somewhere in between.


Not really what PP is talking about.
Hire a local guide for a day,and get them to show you around and get a few tips.

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ronje » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:21 pm

What's in a name? In this case, JJ?

Guys let me introduce you to Joanne. A "her" not a "him".

The netting guys here gave up, took their payouts and left.

Meanwhile Joanne is apparently still trying to fight the NFZ on the fisho's behalf despite them not being interested anymore.

Well, it looks like you guys have got her now but there's a pretty good indicator already that she's found some like company.
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Ronje

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ronje » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:39 am

A few pix of fish that nobody's catching according to Joanne(Coulter).

7 king threadfin over 1200mm in a 2 hour session last week by local father/son team of Michael and Danny Powell.
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Ronje

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Re: Fitzroy Net Free Zone

Post by ronje » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:04 am

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... ater&ifg=1

'nother one 1490 mm this time

Mick, I've only ever see 1 king bigger than that and it was dead in the water with ligature marks from net visible. You probably wouldn't win the award for the best dressed on the river that day but you'd be favourite to take out the trophy for cleanest and tidiest boat. That is a very good fish.
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Ronje

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