Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' David Nixon and Jenny Shiau with barramundi captured during electrofishing surveys at Kinchant Dam. Picture: Andrew Norris.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' David Nixon and Jenny Shiau with barramundi captured during electrofishing surveys at Kinchant Dam. Picture: Andrew Norris.

Tripling of barra at Kinchant Dam ‘tremendous’ for anglers

BARRAMUNDI numbers have tripled over the past three years at Kinchant Dam with the addition of 197 fish-attracting structures.

They include 111 synthetic trees and hedges, 39 pipe bundles, 12 Kinchant cribs and 23 Georgia cubes.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' electrofishing surveys showed barramundi numbers had increased at the 36 sites where the structures were installed as part of a joint venture with the Mackay Regional Council.

 

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Mayor Greg Williamson said it was tremendous news for local anglers and the tourism industry.

"The goals of the project were to increase structural fish habitat diversity, improve angler experiences and catch rates and reduce the number of anglers fishing along the dam infrastructure in closed zones," Cr Williamson said.

"The fact we've been able to increase the number of barramundi found in fish-attracting sites by three times the amount that are found in open water is a testament to the success of this project.

Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association member Matt Tratt releasing fingerlings into Eungella Dam. Picture: Contributed
Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association member Matt Tratt releasing fingerlings into Eungella Dam. Picture: Contributed

"Mackay is known for its fishing and these structures will allow anglers to have a more enjoyable fishing experience at Kinchant Dam by allowing them to fish in more locations on the dam while avoiding snags."

"We believe this will be a great tourism asset to our region, as there are significant economic benefits associated with angling-based tourism.

"The annual economic value of the Kinchant Dam fishery is currently estimated at $1.1 million per annum and with projects like this we hope to see that number increase into the future."

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Cr Williamson thanked those who were vital to the project's success including the volunteers who built the structures as well as the Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association, Walkerston Rotary and St Patrick's Senior College.

To find the GPS coordinates for where the fish-attracting structures are located, you can download the Mackay Freshwater Fishing booklet on the Hooked on Mackay website at www.mackayregion.com/hooked-on-mackay

For more details on the Kinchant Dam habitat enhancement project, click here.


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