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Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:20 pm
by Matt Flynn
Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Trophy barra have been slow to recover in Finke and Chambers Bays since the nets were pulled out around 2012. Lots of good fish about but not many stonkers.

In the 1990s barra of 120cm to 130cm were quite common.

The NT Government has since brought in slot limits for the Mary River Zone, with a 90cm maximum for barra and threadies.

But there is one fish over 90cm allowed per boat.

Given the slow recovery in trophy-sized barra numbers, should the 90cm+ rule be dumped to protect all trophy fish?

Or should the fishing community just wait for a magic combo of wet seasons to produce the goods again?

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:35 pm
by Lats
I am mid draft of a letter to the powers that be about this very issue. Allowing 1 fish over 90cm per boat is frigging ridiculous. The rule was brought in so if a fish doesn't release well it can be kept but in fact a huge amount of fishermen are using this rule to neck their 1st big fish without any effort to release it.

More onus should be on the fisherman to take more care of the fish for a successful release. I've seen 3 fish caught in as many years without a tail that has fully healed over. They are tougher than we give them credit for.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:00 pm
by pms
Hi Matt I reckon in the 1990s there weren't too many big crocs to eat the 110+ barras?

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:03 pm
by Matt Flynn
Hi Matt I reckon in the 1990s there weren't too many big crocs to eat the 110+ barras?
Interesting point :mrgreen:

I wonder how many extra sharks and crocs are kicking around, eating the oldies?

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:07 am
by Matt Flynn
Surprised anyone would want to keep metre-plus barra to eat because of mercury. Smaller fish likely to be healthier tucker.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:29 pm
by bigwoody
The practice of upgrading the fish in possession fits nicely with this stupid regulation. The reg says one fish OVER 90cm per boat, so its possible to have one of these fish everyday in your boat, and at least three in possession per person at your camp at any one time.
Same rules at the Daly where the tourists stick to the rules...don't they?

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:32 pm
by bigwoody
:?

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:22 am
by fish4me123
keeping 90cm or bigger is crazy. It is like shooting lion's or tigers. It is like shooting a 10 year old buff and trying to eat it.
bl..dy awfull

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:57 am
by ronje
Have you guys thought of introducing your own voluntary rules to address NT wide which would include the Mary and its special Govt rules? Might make things easier and less confusing all round.

Make up a voluntary code of practice that achieves what you want and doesn't infringe the NT fishing laws.

https://www.advancerockhampton.com.au/V ... f-Practice

Its worked very well here in our net-free-zone considering that its voluntary only.

Not everybody will go along with it (and they don't have to) and they'll simply have to stick to the Govt rules.

We've found that increasing numbers certainly are following it though.

I'd suggest that AFANT would be ideally placed to organise it with free boat/vehicle stickers to indicate signing up.

The rec fishing sector would then be sending a clear public message to NT govt that its taking steps towards self-management of its sector.

Presence of the visible stickers would help spread the concept by exerting subtle peer pressure.

Note that the code could also include voluntary no-go areas to help protect known spawning grounds at certain times. Most know where they are anyway and they cop a flogging.

Anyway, its a suggestion worth considering towards the goal of more rec sector say in management.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:44 pm
by theodosius
2 options in the poll is not really enough here- you could end up grouping people who want the rule dumped so they can keep as many big gish as they like with people who think all fish over 90 should be released...

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:08 pm
by NinjaFish
Have to agree with that. I keep going to vote and keep scratching my head about it.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:12 pm
by Fruity
Heaps of big fish, get photographed and released to only get taken by a Shark, Might as well Neck it and have a Feed.
Its not cheap to go fishing so you might as well get a heap of fillets.
At least the Netters are not taking all the big breeders.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:23 pm
by NT Wombat
I think most people up here do a pretty good job self regulating when it comes to the big girls, every one I know releases barra over a meter, and most release barra over 90cm. We kept a 93 that my mrs caught on light gear while having a flick for rats at the sampan mouth, took her ages on the light gear and by the time she got it to the net it basically floated into the net, tried to revive it for 10 min but was obviously going nowhere. Glad the rule didn't make us criminals by chucking it in the esky. By the same token i'd hate to see big fish that were fine for release being necked. I like Ronje's idea of a voluntary code of practice is s great idea, Good opportunity to do it through this forum, Matt is a great producer/distributor of stickers! A 2/3 dot point sticker and an FFF logo for the side of your boat would be simple enough.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:42 am
by Matt Flynn
Talking to Warren at Katherine Rod'n'Rifle, he says the 120cm fish aren't in the Victoria River in numbers either, but they were back in the 1990s.

So it may well be across the board. This seems very odd.

Could sharks/crocs be culling the big girls as the sharks/crocs are no longer being "controlled" by netters.

Or do 120cm+ fish release badly, and recreational pressure has hit them? Not enough recreational pressure in the Vic River for that, I would have thought.

Or are the shallow waters getting too warm for really big fish?

Or is it seasonal? Too many threadies? Alien abductions? UFOs? (Unidentified Fishing Objects)

Those 1980s wet seasons do not look anything special.

Re: Should the 90cm+ fish Mary River Zone rule be dumped?

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:47 pm
by fish4me123
I must admit that if I was loaded I would love to tag big girls and help solve the question's of lfe