Suntag Milestone Report 3 2019-20

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Targets for 2019-20

1. Tag 20,000 fish

2. Record 1,500 recaptures

3. Registered taggers in range of 400-500

4. Upgrade database

5. Provide data to researchers and others

Impact of COVID-19

There are very few objective ways to measure the impact of COVID-19 on recreational fishing. The

recapture of tagged fish can be viewed as a random sampling of the fishing population to get some

insight into the impact on effort and travel. A number of different assessments were made including

statewide, regional for the Fitzroy River and South East Qld, and impoundments adjacent to SEQ.

The analysis was based on the cumulative number of recaptures and the direct distance between

the fisher’s home or postcode and the recapture location comparing 2020 with 2019. The actual

distance travelled was unknown, but this provided a reasonable approximation for comparison


The data were updated daily, and this will continue through to the end of the year to see what

happens as restrictions are eased and government support for workers ends or is reduced in Sep. A

summary was sent to key interest groups and individuals at the end of each month.

In summary to date there was a reduction in fishing effort from mid-Mar to early-May with travel

distance restrictions mostly adhered to. From mid-May fishing effort was mostly back to normal or a

bit above with longer travel distances. The impact was mostly felt in regional areas and

impoundments (mostly closed during Apr) while there was little impact in SEQ.

Part of the summary of the statewide assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on recreational

fishing in Queensland.

Monitoring Bass in SEQ impoundments

Crystal Bowl dashboards are being developed for Australian Bass in 6 impoundments that fringe

SEQ from Lake Advancetown behind the Gold Coast to Lake Borumba adjacent to the Sunshine

Coast. A summary dashboard provides a comparison of catch rates for T20 fishers, fish lengths,

trophy fish and growth rates.

A separate dashboard is then available for each impoundment providing a 10 year timeline of

catch rates, fish lengths, growth, grid locations of tagged fish, recaptures external to the

impoundment and postcodes of fishers recapturing fish (indicating where fishers are coming

from to fish the impoundment). At this stage dashboards are being updated every 6 months but

may be updated more frequently if there is sufficient demand.


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