It was a humble beginning for the NSW Research Angler Program when it kicked off in September 2013 with anglers and spearfishers asked to help gather priority information for the management of the mulloway stock by donating their frames to research. Just on two years later, the dedication of the state’s passionate recreational fishers in gathering some incredible data on the mighty mulloway has born some impressive fruit in the form of an extended and expanded NSW RAP! The program has proven so successful with mulloway that it has attracted further funding from the Recreational Fishing Trust, been extended for a further 3 years and expanded to include four new key recreational fish species: snapper, yellowtail kingfish, dusky flathead and tailor in addition to the existing program for mulloway.
On behalf of Fisheries NSW, I would like to thank all of you who participate in the various components of the NSW Research Angler Program for your passion and enthusiasm. A big thank you to all of the research anglers and spearfishers out there who have donated their mulloway frames this winter. We had almost 100 frames donated to the program from winter covering the entire size spectrum of recreationally-caught fish - from just legal 70 cm soapies right up to a ridiculous 168 cm 26 year old fish! This information is priceless for researchers (like me Dr Julian Hughes) who study this iconic fish species. We also had more than 100 mulloway tagged over autumn and nine recaptures, including one fish which made a 100 km journey from the Hawkesbury to Newcastle and another that headed 60 km south from Botany Bay to Wollongong! Last spring was our biggest ever season for frame donations, so with some good warming weather ahead for spring, it looks like another brilliant season for mulloway hunting….and frame donating!
And don't forget, The NSW Research Angler Program has just been extended (for another 3 years) and expanded to include more key recreational fish species in addition to mulloway. The new species are snapper, yellowtail kingfish, dusky flathead and tailor. So now you can donate the frames from these species to research as well! This marks the start of an exciting new phase for the assessment of recreational fish stocks using data collected by recreational fishers. Remember, even if it is only one frame, I will do (almost) anything to get it! Many thanks once again for your involvement in this exciting new approach Fisheries NSW is taking to collect crucial data for NSW’s most popular recreational fish species. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss any aspect of the program. Thank you again and happy spring fishing for mulloway, snapper, kingies, duskies and tailor!
For anyone who would like to read the full report this can be found on the Fishing Club Notice Board at the Country Club.