Prawn stocking begins in 10 NSW estuaries

MINISTER for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, today announced the commencement of the NSW Government’s new Marine Fish Stocking Program that will see prawns released in 10 estuaries along the State’s coastline.

Prawn stocking locations this month include: Khappinghat Creek, Wamberal Lagoon, Narrabeen Lagoon, Swan Lake, Burrill Lake, Lake Tabourie, Bega River, Back Lake, Wallagoot Lake and Curalo Lagoon.

Previously prawns had only been released in closed systems, but the Bega River is open to the ocean so this is something new.

-          About 680,000 eastern king prawn juveniles will be stocked into the Bega River later this week.

-          The Tathra Beach Country Club is assisting DPI with access to good locations within the river for stocking to take place.

-          The Tathra Amateur Fishing Club will also be assisting with the release of the prawns.

-          Bega River is listed as a Recreational Fishing Haven, providing better angling opportunities for recreational fishers.

Ms Hodgkinson said about four million juvenile Eastern king prawn larvae are currently being released, which will help boost stocks of the popular delicacy.

“Catching Eastern king prawns over Christmas is one of the great family pastimes – this new program will hopefully lead to it being even more enjoyable in the future,” said Ms Hodgkinson, who visited Narrabeen Lagoon this week to help release prawns for the first time at that location.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has delivered once again as part of our commitment to improving recreational fishing opportunities across the State.

“The popular Eastern king prawns were bred in Queensland and are being carefully transported and stocked by the Department of Primary Industries in sites from Taree to Eden, ready for harvesting in about three months.

“Local fishing clubs are assisting with the release of the prawns into suitable habitat within the estuaries to help ensure they get the best possible start.

“Fish stocking boosts our fishing communities, as recreational angling supports businesses and tourism. These prawns will provide extra incentive for anglers to visit the regions.”

Ms Hodgkinson said the Marine Fish Stocking Program follows on from previous research trials of mulloway and prawn stocking, which evaluated the ecological aspects and effectiveness of marine stockings.

“These successful stockings provided essential information for a comprehensive environmental assessment and the development of a management strategy for implementing an ongoing marine stocking program,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

The Marine Fish Stocking Program builds on the existing freshwater fish stocking initiatives, funded from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts, which have been enhancing recreational fishing opportunities in NSW for the last 50 years.

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