Fishers poise to pounce in short season

Zach RelphSouth Western Times

Eleven thousand recreational fishers are expected to take advantage of the annual four-week marron fishing window which opens this weekend.

The season begins at midday on Sunday, allowing anglers to fish for the prized WA freshwater delicacy until noon, February 5.

About 11,000 recreational fishers are licensed for the 2017 season, permitting each fisher to a daily bag limit of eight marron.

Future Proofing Western Australia’s Iconic Marron Fishery principal investigator Andrew Matthews said it was important to promote and preserve the recreational fishing activity.

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Mr Matthews, who is researching how to sustain marron stocks in Waroona and Harvey’s dams, said many fishers visit the South West and Peel regions during the season in pursuit of marron.

“Marroning is a socially important pastime that has cultural importance because it is unique to WA,” Mr Matthews said.

“There should be quite a few people travelling to fish for marron. It’s all about having fun in a safe environment.”

Marron have a legal 80mm size limit, however, fishers are restricted to five marron greater than 90mm in “trophy waters”, which include Harvey Dam and Lake Navarino.

Only drop nets, scoop nets and snares can be used to catch marron.

Drop nets and scoop nets are prohibited in snare-only waters including Drakesbrook Weir, Glen Mervyn Dam, Logue Brook Dam, Lake Navarino, Wellington Dam and areas of the Harvey River.

Department of Fisheries management officer Michelle Yerman said officers would patrol the popular South West fishing and camping spots to ensure fishers were using legal gear.

“Just because opera house traps, for example, are sold in some WA tackle shops, that does not mean they can be used for the recreational marron fishing season,” she said.

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