With hundreds of baby Barra headed to Mackay, Mackay families have an exciting opportunity to take part in a hands-on day of fishing action and education at the Reef Catchments Family Fishing Fun Day, Saturday 19 September.
Local kids are being called on to help release 1000 barramundi fingerlings into the Mackay Gooseponds as part of on-going tilapia predatory control trial.
Prior to the barramundi release, eager young anglers will be provided with bait to take part in two hours of fishing and fun.
“All children must be supervised, but we are encouraging kids of all ages to join in!” said event coordinator, Trent Power.
“Numbers are limited so we are asking parents to register ahead of the event. After that, kids just need to arrive on the day with a fishing line, check in at the MRFA stand and they are ready to go, we will provide the bait and there will be plenty of experts on hand to ask for advice.”
Children will also be involved in a short information session where they will learn to identify aquatic pests and threats, such as the noxious pest fish tilapia. Adults won’t be left out either, with plenty of information displays highlighting the outstanding environmental work underway in the Mackay and Whitsundays.
“Mackay is an avid fishing community and we want the next generation to have a good awareness about how to keep our fish and waterways healthy,” Mr Power said.
“As well as being a fun day out, this event will help kids learn more about what they can do to protect our waterways and fish habitat, the kinds of fish to avoid, and the benefits of looking after our local native species, like barramundi.”
The barramundi release is the second phase of a research trial to investigate the potential of using native predatory fish to help control tilapia, a classified invasive pest species posing a significant threat to Queensland waterways and aquatic ecosystems.
Mr Power said the barramundi release and Reef Catchments Family Fishing Fun Day were both collaborative events and would not be possible without significant support from the local community.
“In particular, we would like to thank the Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance Inc for assisting with coordination of the fishing day and Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association (MAFSA) for providing the group’s hatchery to hold the fingerlings prior to the release”, he said.
Michael Wynn from Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance Inc. said the day would be a great chance for young anglers to learn first-hand from the experts.
“We are proud to utilise our angler education team for the day and teach junior fishers the finer points on how to land that prize catch,” he said.
Kieron Galletly from Mackay Area Fish Stocking Alliance said the initiative was an important one for the Mackay community.
“MAFSA is proud to assist again in the release of the fingerlings and to be able to use our recently upgraded hatchery facilities for housing and tagging of the barra prior to their release,” he said.
Some great lucky draw prizes will be on offer for those registered, including a 1/2 Day Fishing Charter with Lake Proserpine Fishing Charters and gift vouchers from Tackle World Mackay and Nashy’s Compleat Angler also up for grabs.
Registration forms for the day can be picked up from Tackle World Mackay on Shakespeare Street, or Nashy’s Compleat Angler on Harbour Road.
What: Reef Catchments Family Fishing Fun Day
Date: Saturday, 19th September
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Mackay Gooseponds
Cost: Free (numbers strictly limited)
Registration: Essential. Registration forms can be picked up at your local fishing shops –
Tackle World Mackay on Shakespeare Street, or Nashy’s Compleat Angler on Harbour Road.
With thanks to all involved: Reef Catchments, Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance, Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association, Catchment Solutions, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Mackay Regional Council, Debbie’s Seafood, Tackle World Mackay, Nashy’s Compleat Angler and Pioneer Catchment Landcare.