Keen fishers will have their nets at the ready hoping to snare a top class feed as WA’s marron season opens this weekend.
There are hopes that this year’s marron catch could be far better than last year’s barren run after months of high rainfall in the Great Southern.
More than 10,000 fishers have licences to take part in the marron season which gets under way from noon this Saturday.
Popular spots around Albany include the upper reaches of the Kalgan River, the Elleker Grassmere drain system, and the Marbellup Creek.
A little further afield, the upper reaches of the Hay River, Kent River, Bow River and Denmark River can be good hunting grounds.
Some Albany locals travel towards Walpole to fish in the Franklin and Deep rivers every marron season.
The limited fishing season, which runs for four weeks, is an important management measure to ensure the industry remains sustainable.
For many recreational fishers, the season is an annual camping and fishing adventure driven by the thrill of catching a feed of WA’s freshwater cray.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development aquatic resource management director Nathan Harrison said last year’s decent rainfall would have boosted the fishery.
“The improved productivity is likely to be reflected in coming seasons”, Mr Harrison said.
“But catches for this season are expected to be about the same as 2021.
“The fishery is also being supported by a stocking initiative, with 70,000 marron released into two dams in the past year.
“More marron stocking is planned under a project funded by recreational fishing licence fees.”
DPIRD researchers have recently attached numbered yellow “spaghetti” tags to marron at several dams.
The tagged marron can be kept as part of the relevant bag and possession limits, provided they are above the minimum legal-size limit.
Mr Harrison recommended that if people found a tagged marron, they report the dam where it was caught, the date, the tag number and, if possible, send a photo of the marron to Marcus.Newman@dpird.wa.gov.au.
DPIRD education officers will be on patrol at key locations as the marron season opens to help fishers with information, while fisheries compliance officers will be checking marron catches are within the rules.
Mr Harrison said that recreational fishers were lucky to have the chance at catching marron each year.
“You may be camping out or walking through bush areas so it’s important everyone abides by the prohibition on campfires, because bushfire safety in WA is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
“So, stay safe, stick to the rules and have fun this season enjoying your marron catches.”