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Recreational angling in the Rottnest Island reserve: Catch, effort and participation estimates

Smallwood, C.B., Beckley, L.E. and Sumner, N.R. (2004) Recreational angling in the Rottnest Island reserve: Catch, effort and participation estimates. In: Australian Marine Science Association Conference, 6 - 9 July, Hobart, Tasmania.


The Rottnest Island reserve, located off south-western Australia, is considered to be one of the most popular recreational fishing locations in Western Australia. A roving creel survey of shore-based recreational angling in the reserve was conducted from January to December 2003. In total, 1 053 anglers were intercepted which included individuals, families, school groups and angling clubs. The total annual shore-based angling effort for Rottnest Island was calculated at 23 899 angler outings and the total catch estimated at 53 994 retained fish. The highest levels of catch and effort were recorded in April, May and July. During the survey, 33 fish species were identified. However, 60% of the catch was Arripis georgianus, with an estimated weight of 7.3 tonnes. Shore-based anglers caught and released a large proportion of non-target species. Some anglers retained undersized fish which indicates a need for further education and enforcement of recreational fishing regulations. The total number of shore anglers who fished at Rottnest Island during the study period was estimated to be about 10 000. The survey has provided data that are being used to support decision making by the Rottnest Island Authority and Department of Fisheries with respect to the management of shore-based recreational angling in the Rottnest Island reserve.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Notes: Oral presentation
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