Anglers by the thousands hook into region's fishing scene
LIAM Robertson is among a surge of new anglers diving into the recreational paradise of Fitzroy River in the past 12 months.
As the Aurizon analyst cast his line off the Quay St pontoon in Rockhampton yesterday, he said he'd been impressed with the fishing conditions on the river since the netting ban was introduced.
His verdict would be mirrored by other fishing enthusiasts in the region based on a just released survey from the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The report found the amount of anglers in the region had increased by 12,800 in the past 12 months to reach 35,300.
Meanwhile, across Queensland an estimated 943,000 people had thrown their line in the water during the past year, an amount which had jumped from 641,000 in 2013.
Liam, 27, who only moved to Rockhampton from Mackay three weeks ago after accepting an analyst's position at Aurizon, is one of those to quickly take to the city's fishing scene.
After all, it was a pastime he grew in love with as a young child who enjoyed the sport with his father.
Since he arrived in town, Liam has thrown his line into the Fitzroy about three to four times a week.
In love with the challenge of finding his next biggest catch, Liam's fishing adventures have seen him catch the likes of salmon and Threadfin.
Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said the amount of support from recreational fishing meant more money could be injected into local businesses.
"As well as buying fishing gear and bait, there is boating equipment, camping and accommodation and increased tourism numbers that all boost the local economy,” she said.
"Fishing is more popular than ever so it is even more important that people do the right thing and make sure our fisheries are sustainable.”
The Palaszczuk government's $10 million commitment to three net free zones in 2015 supports recreational fishing in the state.
Rockhampton received a portion of $100,000 of funds, along with Cairns and Mackay.
Queensland's recreational fishing survey was conducted with the help of more than 2,500 households who were invited to complete the 12 month logbook diary with recreational catch and effort information.