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Monitoring the Australian bass fishery in NSW ‘Bass Catch’

NSW DPI Jun 2, 2020

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What is Bass Catch?
1. Basscatch is a citizen science program
   
2. Anglers produce the data
  
3. Anglers record catch, fishing effort and size composition at Bass catch events.
  
 4. A program that has been running for over 30 years!

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How does Bass Catch work?
● Bass catch covers 15 events across lakes and rivers of coastal NSW.

● Anglers record data on all bass caught using forms provided by DPI Fisheries.
  
● Data returned to scientists at the end of the event for processing and analysis.
What do we find?
● Valuable information on fish populations such as fish sizes, fish numbers and changes overtime

● Trends are highly variable – but in general many fisheries were “stable”.
  
● Like graphs? Then continue on for some results!

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How to read the bass catch graphs
Step 1: Check the title and axis details.
Step 2: Look at the trends in the data. The average (dotted line) is shown with 95% confidence intervals. These intervals define a range of values we are 95% confident accounts for the actual average of bass for our study.

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Bass Catch - Overall
Numbers caught
This graph shows that the predicted number of bass caught for every hour fished is going up!
With over 2 bass caught for every hour fished.

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Bass Catch - Overall
Size of fish
The average length of bass caught at bass catch events has varied over time, with the current average size being about 255mm.

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Bass Catch - Hastings
Numbers caught
The number of bass caught per hour was highest in 2010 and is currently around 0.2 bass/hour (a fish every 5 hours).

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Bass Catch - Hastings
Size of fish
The average size of bass caught has increased since the early 2000’s and is now stable at about 280mm.

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Bass Catch - Macleay
Numbers caught
The average number of bass caught per hour has been increasing in the Macleay River since 2010.

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Bass Catch - Macleay
Size of fish
The average size of bass caught in the Macleay River fluctuates over time, but remains around 260mm to 300mm.

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Bass Catch - Glenbawn
Numbers caught
The number of fish caught per hour has decreased over the last 20 years in this impoundment.

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Bass Catch - Glenbawn
Size of fish
The average size of bass caught has also dropped from about 420mm to 310 mm.
What’s next?
Bass catch continues to provide valuable data for the NSW bass fishery and this will likely be supported by stream monitoring where possible from 2021.

Cod catch ( a similar program for Murray cod) has also been initiated with trials conducted at the Leeton Bidgee classic in 2019 and 2020. This will expand to other areas and events in 2020/21.