Joel Clark and Jesse Day release barramundi into the Fairbairn Dam.
Joel Clark and Jesse Day release barramundi into the Fairbairn Dam.

Barramundi dam stocks boosted

ANGLERS around the Emerald area will be happy to know 49,700 new barramundi fingerlings were released into the Fairbairn Dam earlier this month.

All part of the State Government’s Stocked Impoundment Permit initiative, which funds fish stocking of 33 dams across the state, the fingerlings were released by the non-profit organisation Emerald Fish Stocking Group.

Travelling about four hours from a hatchery in Gladstone, the fingerlings marked the second release of fish into the Fairbairn Dam in the past month, the first being 60,000 golden perch.

EFSG president Peter Day said more barramundi fingerlings would be released into the dam over the next few weeks.

He said members of the EFSG came from Emerald and surrounding areas to organise the travel and release of the fish into the dam.

“The funding for this project was about $55,000 from the SIP licence money,” Mr Day said.

Gladstone Area Water Board hatchery manager Kurt Hutchby said it was fantastic to see such an enthusiastic group work so hard to get fish into the dam.

Mr hutchby said the SIP initiative was a great idea as it meant stocking groups no longer needed to be heavily reliant on income from fisheries.

“Basically it regulates the pressure to stock the dams consistently,” he said.

While the Fairbairn Dam is already a popular recreation area for locals and tourists, Mr Hutchby said the latest arrivals would give the area a lift in resources.

“It is a massive boost for the Emerald shire because it’s a secondary fishery out there, and now it’s got barramundi,” he said.

Mr Hutchby said it was not only recreational fishers who would benefit from the barramundi, but that it was also important for ecological reasons.

“Without them you would have serious ecological imbalances,” he said.

“It’s basically a massive green tick for Emerald.”

As part of the SIP initiative all people planning on fishing in the 33 dams around Queensland need to purchase a $35 yearly permit, which helps fund re-stocking the dams each year.

The permit allows people to fish with a hand-held or set fishing line and only one permit per couple over the age of 18 is necessary. People caught fishing without a permit could face hefty fines.

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