Study on Dam Value to Economies
  |  First Published: February 2003

WONDAI Shire’s Boondooma Dam, along with Bjelke-Petersen Dam in the Murgon Shire, will be the focus of a 12-month study to place a value on recreational freshwater fishing to the local economies.

QFS extension officer Rod Cheetham said the DPI-funded South-East Region initiative was being conducted in cooperation with Dr John Rolfe, head of Central Qld University’s Emerald Campus. The CQU study will complement a program being carried out at Fairbairn Dam near Emerald, where visitors primarily target redclaw crayfish. In Boondooma and Bjelke the main targets are bass and golden perch (yellowbelly).

Mr Cheetham said all three studies would use the same travel-cost methodology to determine the financial spin-offs to the communities, including travel and accommodation expenditure, and associated purchases such as fuel, vehicles, boats, bait and ice. Anglers returning from a day out on the dams are asked to spare a few minutes to answer some quick questions.

Mr Cheetham said the survey information would assist Government agencies, local authorities and stocking groups to manage the fishery impoundments, as well as help the wider community and local businesses to have a better understanding of travel and accommodation needs and for bait and tackle sales requirements.

“The latest statewide recreational fishery survey indicates that freshwater angling participation within dams has expanded from 99,000 anglers in 1996 to 123,500 anglers in 2001,” Mr Cheetham said.

“Local regions with well stocked dams may well be able to take advantage of the tourism generated by comprehensive and effective stocking programs. Both Wondai and Murgon Shires are attempting to do this already.” – Vern Veitch, Vice Chairman Sunfish Qld.

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