15% of Queenslanders fish on a regular basis

The state's largest recreational fishing survey has revealed around 642,000 Queenslanders wet a line, go crabbing or prawning.
The state's largest recreational fishing survey has revealed around 642,000 Queenslanders wet a line, go crabbing or prawning. Nicholas Falconer

THE state's largest recreational fishing survey has revealed around 642,000 Queenslanders wet a line, go crabbing or prawning. 

This figure represents 15 per cent of the Queensland population aged five years or older.

Fisheries Queensland Manager Dr Ross Quinn said the statewide recreational fishing survey showed fishing remained an enormously popular recreational activity in Queensland.

"This is a great result for the recreational fishing sector given people have so many choices now as to how they spend their time," Dr Quinn said.

"Results showed that over the survey period, recreational fishers caught approximately 12 million fish.

"The most commonly caught fish is the Yellowfin bream with an estimated 1.2 million caught, sand whiting at 1.1 million and 679,000 trumpeter whiting.

"These results will benefit stock and sustainability assessments and the recreational fishing sector."

More than 15,000 randomly selected Queensland households were contacted and asked whether they intended to fish in the 12 months from November 2013 to October 2014.

More than 90 per cent of the households that intended to fish, volunteered to take part in a 12 month phone diary survey.

Dr Quinn said the aim of the Statewide Recreational Fishing Survey 2013-14 is to provide reliable catch and effort estimates for fish species commonly caught by Queensland's recreational fishers.

"This information will be combined with commercial, charter and scientific research data to demonstrate that our fishers are sustainably managed," he said.

"The high cooperation rate is very positive, showing the willingness of recreational fishers to get involved in monitoring programs."

Key findings:

• About 15 per cent of Queenslanders, 5 years or older, are recreational fishers, which represents 642,000.
• Queenslanders fished for approximately 2.5 million days in the state, between November 2013 and October 2014
• Almost all recreational fishers preferred to throw in a line and nearly half chose to fish from the shore.
• Approximately 49 per cent of fishing households owned a boat and most of these were 4-5 m powerboats.
• Yellowfin bream was the most commonly caught fin fish in Queensland with an estimated 1.2 million caught. Australian bass was the most popular freshwater fish caught while Coral trout was the most popular tropical fish.
• Mud crabs were the most commonly caught non-fish species, with approximately 1.7 million caught.
• A common reason for releasing fish was because they were considered too small or below the legal size limit. A very high proportion of barramundi were released (76% or 132,000 fish) however very few mullet were released (11% or 27,000 fish).

Topics:  fishing fraser coast outdoor-living queensland recreation

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