The third NSW Mulloway Classic will be held in November in the Georges and Richmond rivers, with great prizes on offer.
A catch-and-release approach is being encouraged, but anglers are welcome to retain their catch if they wish.
“Most of our data from the 2007 and 2008 events has come from the Georges River, so we are particularly keen to increase participation on the Richmond,” says Dr Matt Taylor, of the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, University of NSW.
“Anglers are encouraged to fish as many times as possible during the event, and are required to fill out a data sheet with catch and effort information for each fishing trip. When a fish is landed, anglers are also required to remove five scales and a small fin clip for analysis before returning the fish to the water or taking it home to eat.
For more information email --e-mail address hidden-- or call Elke Venstra on (02) 9385 2118.
“The number of fishing trips during the competition doubled between 2007 and 2008 and about 25% of trips were successful in both years,” Dr Taylor said.
“For those trips that were successful, the average number of fish decreased from three per trip in 2007 to 1.4 fish per trip in 2008.
“In 2008, however, the average fish length was 69cm, up from 55cm in 2007. The largest mulloway captured were 1.2m (Richmond River 2007) and 1.3m (Georges River 2008).
“The average trip to catch a mulloway lasts for about five hours and for successful trips around 0.6 fish were captured per hour in both years. Successful trips were also generally shorter than unsuccessful trips.
“What does all this mean? Bearing in mind we need many more years of data to determine any solid trends, from the two events it appears that catch has decreased but size has increased between 2007 and 2008.
“The success rate has remained constant between years, but participation more than doubled in 2008 – indicating that about a quarter of anglers can catch a mulloway when they want to.
“Most importantly, the events continue to provide samples for our research program, so we can determine the length and age structure of the recreational mulloway fishery.”
Tissue samples provided by the sampling program were being analysed to determine the potential contribution of stocked mulloway to the angler catch, Dr Taylor said.
The University of NSW would like regular mulloway anglers to help in the year-round angler sampling program. Participants are rewarded with a mulloway stocking research Kokoda Fishing Shirt (worth $50) after the return of their first kit containing 20 samples. To participate call Elke Venstra.
Thanks go to the NSW Recreational Saltwater Fishing Trust, the Australian Research Council, the NSW DPI, Recreational Fishing Community Grants Program, the South Sydney Amateur Fishing Association, Ballina Angling Club and the many tackle shops who assisted in the program.
The Sydney Institute of Marine Science and the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, University of NSW wants anglers on the Richmond and Georges rivers to take part in the third annual Mulloway Classic.