Marine boat-based recreational fishing in South East Queensland 2007-2008 survey

  • Figure 1: Map of areas surveyed in South-East Queensland. Figure 2: Graph showing reasons for releasing fish
    Figure 1: Map of areas surveyed in South-East Queensland. Figure 2: Graph showing reasons for releasing fish

Public boat ramp survey

If you are a recreational fisher and use public boat ramps in South East Queensland you may have been approached by one of our staff to take part in a public boat ramp survey.

About the survey

We used a ´bus route - access point´ survey, collecting data from fishers at public boat ramps by moving from one ramp to the next along a predetermined route (the bus route).

The survey ran from October 2007 to November 2008, visiting ramps from Currumbin to Tewantin (Figure 1). Fourteen bus routes were surveyed 1008 times in total. Each survey visited 3-9 ramps. We surveyed on weekdays, weekends and public holidays throughout the year. A total of 4559 boat crews were interviewed.

The survey will help design future monitoring programs and answer the following questions about recreational fishing in South East Queensland:

  • What species and sizes of fish are caught by recreational anglers?
  • Where are fish being caught?
  • How do catches vary from place to place?
  • Why are some fish released?

The information gathered was used to estimate catch and fishing effort by fishers launching from public boat ramps during the day.

Recreational fishing activities sampled*

Sampled Not sampled
Boat-based fishers Shored-based fishers and kayak-based fishers
Fishers returning to public boat ramps Private areas (for example marinas and jetties)
Daytime Night time

*This survey intentionally did not sample all types of recreational fishing activity. Therefore it cannot estimate total recreational catch for any particular species.

Key findings

Species caught

Both inshore and rocky reef species were measured at the boat ramps.

The top five inshore species were yellowfin bream, sand whiting, dusky flathead, trumpeter whiting and blue swimmer crabs.

The top five rocky reef species were snapper, grass emperor, Venus tuskfish, pearl perch and Moses snapper.

Reasons for releasing fish

Nearly 75% of fishers interviewed released fish because they were undersized (Figure 2).

Almost 25% of fishers interviewed released fish because the fish were unwanted. This included fish released by catch-and-release fishers.

Almost 5% of fishers released fish because of the fish´s sex. This was mainly female crabs (no-take regulation in Queensland) whose sex is easily determined.

Interpretation and future use

The results demonstrate that recreational fishers are aware of fishing regulations and generally comply with size and possession limits.

There were a few species where the proportion of undersized fish measured was concerning but these fish were either rarely caught or looked similar to other species.

Fishers had probably misidentified them or were unaware of the size regulations.

Fisheries Queensland will continue to work with stakeholders to educate fishers on identification techniques and fishing rules including Possession and size limits.

We would like to thank those fishers who answered our interview questions and waited a few extra minutes while we measured your fish.

The information collected by this survey is valuable for the development of future recreational fishery monitoring programs.

Further information

Last updated 01 February 2016