A partnership between the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and a small but dedicated fish stocking group in Eidsvold has lead to a new barramundi fishery.
Fingerling coordinator with Wuruma Dam Fish Restocking Association David Blundell said significant numbers of barramundi were being caught in the dam by anglers, rather than just in netting and electrofishing surveys conducted by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.
“Anglers can now fish at Wuruma and target barramundi with lures, and our association is beginning to see some reward for our stocking efforts,” Mr Blundell said.
Burnett-based DPI&F fisheries extension officer, Rod Cheetham, said the department had been monitoring the fish population in Wuruma for several years.
“While there has always been a good population of bass and yellowbelly, the number of healthy barramundi turning up in the surveys has been steadily increasing,” Mr Cheetham said.
“If anyone is planning to come to Wuruma Dam to try for a barra, good areas to try are the bays and inlets. Anglers should cast shallow diving lures toward banks with plenty of cover, such as woody snags,” Mr Blundell said.
Wuruma Dam is about 27km from Eidsvold, along the Burnett Highway. Although water levels have been low for several years, they are high enough for safe boating.
Anglers need a Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) to fish Wuruma Dam. Income from the permits provides funds for the local stocking group, which allows them to try stocking barramundi and another native species, Saratoga, in the dam.
“Our group first stocked 2000 barra about 50mm in size in the 1997-98 season, but then missed a couple of years. When the SIP scheme was introduced, we then stocked about 13,000 barra that were 50mm in size. We are now experimenting with buying 100mm fingerlings that should give us a better survival rate,” Mr Blundell said.
“It is encouraging to see a stocking group with a real sense of achievement compared to a few years ago when the drought was really pushing their commitment to the limit.”
For information about the Wuruma Dam Family Fishing Competition held every year contact David Blundell on (07) 4165 1274 or Glenda Alford on (07) 4165 1575. – WDFFCReads: 1973