Marron stocking in Western Australia’s (WA) South-West will take another step forward with plans to increase the population in Harvey Dam.
Fisheries Minister Don Punch said freshwater fishing is incredibly popular in WA, and over 10,000 people were licenced to participate in the 2022 marron season last season.
“The marron season is limited to a four-week period between 8 January and 5 February every year to manage the resource, and one of the very popular locations for fishers is Harvey Dam,” Minister Punch stated.
Work is ongoing to stock Harvey Dam, WA’s premier recreational marron fisher, with 100,000 of the prized freshwater crayfish.
“Stock enhancements will be important in developing sustainable marron fishing experiences into the future. Marron are endemic to South-West WA, and fishing for them has long been a tradition for recreational fishers, who enjoy the challenge this freshwater crayfish provides,” Minister Punch stated.
The $140,000 project is one of many aimed at enhancing recreational fishing experiences, particularly in the regions, and is funded through the Recreational Fishing COVID Response Project.
Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke said the community loves their freshwater fishing.
“This announcement about stock enhancement of marron at the Harvey Dam will be well-received within the community and will mean there will be plenty of marron for everyone to enjoy in the future,” Clarke stated.
Breeding has already commenced from the animals caught at Harvey Dam, with restocking slated to begin as early as June 2023.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is collaborating with a contractor to chart a successful course for the project, which Recfishwest also supports.
According to the State Government, Harvey Dam provides the best possible conditions for marron due to its permanent water, well-suited habitat, and food. Early spring is when wild marron typically spawns; under the right circumstances, a female can lay 200 to 400 eggs.
Marron is another species that is well-suited to aquaculture production. Now that Harvey Dam has provided broodstock, they will produce even more juveniles to improve the marron stock in the dam.