View Full Version : Fish tagging provides valued Dawson data

19-03-2002, 06:27 PM
18 March 2002

Fish tagging provides valued Dawson data

A fish-tagging program on the Dawson River that has gained wide community support has identified and tagged 2696 fish as part of a three-year Natural Heritage Trust funded project.

Dawson Catchment Coordinating Association project officer, Sandy McCubbin, Theodore, said the tagged fish count up to December last year involving four native fish species was providing valuable data on fish population, species migration and growth rates.

Mr Cubbin said fish taggers from the Baralaba, Moura, Theodore and Taroom would meet at Theodore on March 23 to review the collected data that had been summarised by Queensland’s Suntag coordinator, Bill Sawynok.

“The group will also use the data to plan the next phase of the Dawson project that will be finalised by September this year,” Mr McCubbin said.

Saratoga had emerged as the most dominant species with a count of 1817 fish followed by 824 yellowbelly (golden perch) and lesser numbers of barramundi and black bream. Suntag reported that 2.8 percent of the Saratoga and 3.3pc of the yellowbelly were recaptured. Recreational anglers were asked to report captures of the tagged fish on the Suntag freecall 1800 number to record the fish species, location and length.

Average growth for the yellowbelly was 10mm/100 days and the Saratoga grew 7mm/100days. The upstream migration of the yellowbelly was between 50km to 75km while most of the recaptured Saratoga were generally in the same river location.

Department of Primary Industries Queensland Fisheries Service senior extension officer, Peter Long, Rockhampton, said the data supported the knowledge that Saratoga was a lagoon species and that yellowbelly embarked on an annual upstream migration triggered by summer flows.

Mr Long said the data suggested there would be no advantage in tagging further Saratoga and the tagging program should concentrate on tracking the migratory movements of yellowbelly and barramundi species.

“There are six established weir impoundments on the Dawson River with new fishways completed last year on Baralaba’s Neville Hewitt Weir and on the Moura Weir. Monitoring the movement of tagged fish will provide valuable information with particular reference to barramundi,” said Mr Long.

“DPI netting surveys have highlighted the successful barramundi restocking efforts of the Baralaba Fish Stocking Group that released 25,000 fingerlings into the lower reaches of the Dawson catchment up to November 2001. Moura Weir has also been stocked with a mix of 25,000 barramundi and yellowbelly fingerlings this summer season. By tagging these fish, researchers will gain a better understanding of the length of time these fish stay in the Dawson catchment before moving to the estuarine waters at the mouth of the Fitzroy River system,” Mr Long said.

Further information: Peter Long, senior Fisheries extension officer, Rockhampton Ph 07 4936 0253
Sandy McCubbin, project officer, Dawson Catchment Coordinating Association, Theodore Ph 07 4993 1674
Media Officer: Russ Boadle, Rockhampton Ph (07) 4936 0320; Mobile 0418 789939
Department of Primary Industries Media Unit
Central Region Office, Box 6014, Rockhampton Mail Centre, Q 4702 Fax (07) 4936 0317
DPI Call Centre 8am-6pm weekdays on local call 13 25 23