The first confirmed capture of a legal-sized mangrove jack from Lake Awoonga was made early in October and has created a lot of excitement.
While unverified reports of captures have been frequent, a photo was taken of this fish before its release. Local angler Terrin Sharpe pulled in the 49cm fish of approximately 2.5kg while lure fishing for barramundi last Friday evening.
The Gladstone Area Water Board Fish Hatchery has been releasing quantities of this prized fish since 2001, with just over 13,000 fingerlings released in that time. The Water Board has stocked mangrove jack as part of their environmental obligations, and also to provide a recreational fishing resource for Gladstone residents and visiting anglers.
The capture confirms the suitability of Lake Awoonga as habitat for this species, and has encouraged the Water Board to continue with their stocking efforts. A new specialised food preparation room at the hatchery is expected to increase production from this summer forward, and enable greater numbers to be stocked in future. It is estimated that this fish was one of the original fingerlings stocked in 2001 or 2002. – Gladstone Water BoardReads: 805