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.