A La Niña was recently declared by the Bureau of Meteorology signalling above-average rainfall for Northern Australia, bringing cooler and cloudier days, more tropical cyclones and an early onset of the Wet Season across the North.
This is great news for fishers as barramundi numbers are directly affected by the amount of rainfall a river catchment receives in a Wet Season.
In a high rainfall year when conditions are good for barramundi (that is, extended access to flood plains and lots of food), they grow faster and reproduction is boosted. Ultimately more rain equals more food, which equals more barramundi.
The Northern Territory has just gone through a two year period of lower than average rainfall and with it lower productivity of our barramundi population.
While fishers may be champing at the bit to have a go at the improved barramundi stocks, they should remember to fish sustainably. This means knowing your possession limits and only taking what you need for a feed.
To find out more, head to www.nt.gov.au/marine.
We all love barra and what better way to celebrate this Top End icon (apart from snagging a Million Dollar Fish tagged barra) than by heading down to the Darwin Waterfront’s National Barramundi Day gig this evening?
From 5-8pm you can sign up for Million Dollar Fish (if you haven’t got your act together yet) and go in the draw to win one of 10 $100 Darwin Waterfront gift cards.
If you’re looking for a feed, check out the Million Dollar Dishes being served at a range of Darwin Waterfront bars and restaurants to celebrate our famous barra and the Million Dollar Fish competition. We’ve worked with venues to bring you some top tucker. Can’t make it this evening? Don’t worry, the dishes will be available until 31 March 2021.
Today from 5pm there will also be casting practices, demonstrations, face painting, live music, entertainment for the littlies and more. Top of the list is surely a selfie with Baz the Barra.
An increasing number of barramundi caught by recreational fishers are now released after capture. That barra you catch may not be the Million Dollar Fish but should be handled carefully.
When releasing fish, NT Fisheries recommends:
- Minimising the time out of the water so the fish can be returned to the water as quickly as possible.
- Use fish-friendly knotless landing nets to minimise injuries and fin damage.
- Get your camera or phone ready to take that image before you take the fish out of the water and begin handling it.
- Wet down your measuring board before measuring a fish and never lay the fish on a hot, dry surface.
- If holding a fish, support its weight with both hands and don’t suspend it vertically by its jaw.
- Release the fish into bank side cover or snags which provide protection while the fish recovers.
It is the responsibility of all recreational fishers involved in the Million Dollar Fish competition to ensure that all fish released have the best chance of survival. This will ensure the sustainability of our fish for the future.