Fishing fantastic! Two artificial reefs on the way

Fishermen George Hoberg and Roger Phillips at the boat harbour.
Fishermen George Hoberg and Roger Phillips at the boat harbour. Valerie Horton

FISHERS on the Fraser Coast will have two new playgrounds to snag their prized catch with more artificial reefs to be dropped in Hervey Bay.

On Thursday, August 21, the Minister for National Parks Steve Dickson will announce that new reefs will be dropped north-east of Little Woody Island and near the Outer Banks.

The announcement will be made at a media conference at the Hervey Bay Boat Club.

Mr Dickson said the reefs would cost $1.5 million and be paid for by the Queensland Government's $50 million Marine Infrastructure Fund.

The 80ha Simpson Reef will be built in waters 10m deep near the Outer Banks.

The Hardie Reef will be built at a depth of 16m, north-east of Little Woody Island.

"The Great Sandy Strait is truly a top spot and a new artificial reef will enhance recreational and commercial fishing, as well as diving," Mr Dickson said.

"Artificial reefs provide marine life with protection from predators, shelter from ocean currents, breeding opportunities and a rich supply of food."

Both reefs will be built using strong, low maintenance, purpose-built concrete reef modules between now and June 2016.

Mr Dickson expected divers to view interesting creatures around the structures within months of completion and fishing should improve substantially within 18 months.

The reefs have been named after early lighthouse keepers.

Woody Island's first head lighthouse keeper John Simpson (1867 - 1870) and Peter Hardie (1870 -1897).

Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen said he would be looking at dropping more concrete pipes at the existing Roy Ruffus reef.

"Locals wanted more avenues to promote activities like fishing, diving and snorkelling for tourism and we have delivered," he said.

And in a further boost to the Great Sandy Marine Park, Mr Sorensen revealed the Middle Bluff lighthouse on Big Woody Island would also be restored in a $155,000 project.

"It's one of the oldest buildings in Hervey Bay," he said.

Topics:  fishing hervey bay

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