Recfishwest: 30,000 yellowtail kingfish released as part of ongoing stocking program

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WA Fisheries Minister Don Punch and Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland. Image: Recfishwest

WESTERN Australian Fisheries Minister Don Punch rolled up his sleeves last week to help Recfishwest release another 5,000 juvenile yellowtail kingfish into metro waters as part of an ongoing metro yellowtail kingfish stocking program, that has now seen more than 30,000 fish released.

A three-year commitment to stocking kingfish, pink snapper and barramundi is all part of the WA government’s COVID-19 fishing package announced by Premier Mark McGowan in August.

Recfishwest says it's proud to drive new initiatives like this that can potentially open more diverse fishing opportunities for metro fishers.

With international travel restrictions in place for the foreseeable future and the challenges of a COVID world, Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said fishing was more important than ever for people’s relaxation and well-being and support for local economies.

“I went targeting kingies last weekend near Rotto and managed to find a few,” Dr Rowland said.

“Although the fish were more on the "rat" end of the spectrum and went back, it was great fun fishing and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this stocking program impacts on the metro kingie fishery in the next couple of years.

“Just like the snapper stocking program, all the juvenile kingfish reared for these releases by the DPIRD aquaculture team have their otoliths (ear bones) stained allowing fish from the stocking program to be identified when caught and analysed in the future.

“This is new territory here in WA, which is what makes it so exciting, and there is an important role here for fishers to assist in providing samples to support the science.”

The fish released yesterday should reach legal size round late-2022, Dr Rowland said.

“In the meantime, we’ll keep cranking the handle to get more fish in the water and help protect and
enhance your fishing future.”

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