Daly River research: "lowest catch on record" for juvenile barramundi

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Image: Patrick Linehan

THE NT's premier barramundi fishing location, the Daly River has had a "failed recruitment event" due to a very poor wet season.

A team of university researchers and NT Fisheries have been monitoring fish populations in the river for over a decade, and they have concluded 2019 has had a "failed recruitment event" for juvenile barramundi.

Charles Darwin University aqua ecologist and associate professor, Alison King, has been leading the research team and said the cause of the issue was simple to explain.

"More water means more barra," King said.

"Off the back of a really poor wet season which the territory had we had low catches of juvenile barramundi," King told ABC's Tales from the Tinny.

"This is the lowest catch on record."

daly river barramundi data

The research team have been collecting data from multiple locations in the upper and lower Daly River for 13 years.

King said the lack of water or rain flowing into the river during the wet season has meant the fish have "failed to breed".

Apart from barramundi, King said other species have been impacted due to the lack of water in the river system.

"We had low catches of many bait fish, such as bony brim, mullet, tarpon and catfish, all of which support the barramundi fishery," she said.

King also said it may take several years for barramundi numbers to return, but barramundi were a strong species and she believed the low numbers did not mean the end of fishing in the Daly River.

"The numbers are all lower, but we do believe the populations will bounce back."

Source: ABC News

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