Scientists from the Fisheries Victoria Research Branch are encouraging dedicated recreational fishers to become volunteer angler diarists and help monitor valuable fisheries.
Angler diarists collect information about spawning success, growth, survival and catch trends. Equipped with special diaries and rulers, anglers use their fishing gear and fishing knowledge to turn normal fishing trips into valuable research expeditions.
The Victorian angler diary program has been running for over 15 years. Diarists record what they catch, where they catch it and how long they fish for. Information about under-size fish has been particularly valuable in the past, especially for snapper and bream fisheries. It is an early indicator of years of strong and weak recruitment, allowing catch limits to be assessed in advance.
The angler diary program is expanding and needs the help of experienced anglers who fish regularly (weekly to fortnightly) and have the commitment to record their catches in a detailed diary.
Fisheries Victoria is especially interested in engaging with Port Phillip Bay anglers who target snapper, King George whiting or flathead.
Angler diarists who fish for snapper near Beaumaris, Sandringham and Frankston, are needed to help determine the effectiveness of trial artificial reefs, which are scheduled for deployment in 2009 as part of the Government’s $13.5 million Enhanced Recreational Fishing Program.
Anglers who fish for black bream in Lake Tyers, estuary perch in Anderson Inlet, and Murray cod and golden perch in Lake Mulwala are also being sought. The diary anglers receive updates that keep them informed about how their records are contributing to the overall monitoring of fish stocks and related projects.
People interested in becoming angler diarists, or wanting to know more about Fisheries Victoria’s angler diary program, should contact Daniel Grixti at the Fisheries Research Branch on (03) 5258 0111 or Daniel.grixti(at)dpi.vic.gov.au www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fishing/