The marron season began on Sunday January 8 and saw the introduction of a reduced daily bag limit and a possession limit change, required as precautionary measures to deal with changing environmental conditions.
Department of Fisheries Manager of Strategic Fishing Policy Nathan Harrison said the 2012 Marron season would run from 12 noon January 8 until 12 noon on 5 February.
“For the new season the daily bag limit will be reduced from 10 to eight marron and the possession limit will drop from 20 to 16 marron in non-trophy waters,” Mr Harrison said.
“Existing marron fishing rules applying to trophy waters will not change and the precautionary measures to adjust bag and possession limits in all other waters will be reviewed at the end of the season to assess the impact of recent higher rainfall.
WA's Marron limits have changed. Photo courtesy WA Department of Fisheries
“The reductions have been necessary because rainfall in the region for 2010 was the lowest recorded and, despite some unexpected good winter rains last year, there is ongoing uncertainty about future rainfall levels for the South West. Rainfall in Perth has declined 20 per cent in the past decade and run off into dams has fallen by 60 per cent.”
Mr Harrison said Recfishwest, the peak recreational fishing body, supported the precautionary measures to protect marron stocks, and would also help raise awareness of the rule changes with recreational fishers.
“The department will also run a communications campaign to get the message out about the changes to the bag and possession limits in non-trophy waters,” he said.
An expert committee of freshwater fisheries stakeholders, including Recfishwest and Department of Fisheries’ managers and researchers, reached consensus on the changes and put a recommendation to the Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore, which he has approved.
A licence is required for recreational marron fishing during the season. Licences and other information for Western Australia’s recreational marron fishers are available from Department of Fisheries’ website.