Kinchant Dam Habitat Enhancement Project
Recreational angling in impoundments is increasing in popularity and generating significant social and economic benefits to regional communities. One of the major limiting factors on the success of an impoundment fishery is the lack of quality fish habitat. Dams with good quality fishing have substantial, high quality fish habitat in common. Since the majority of impoundments are not built or operated with fisheries as a major consideration, structural habitat suitable for fish is often lacking. Structural habitat is vital to support strong fish communities and angling opportunities.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and Mackay Regional Council (MRC) have been working on a project to install fish attracting structures (FAS) into Kinchant Dam, Mackay. A total of 194 structures (consisting of 4 different designs) are being deployed at 36 locations around the dam with the aim of aggregating barramundi, therefore making them easier to catch and increasing the regions tourism potential. Their deployment locations are in deeper water out from the main weed-line and out of the primary skiing areas. Fish attracting structures can attract prey species seeking food and refuge, provide refuge for stocked juvenile fish, and provide structure and ambush opportunities for predatory species.
Bathymetirc mapping and electrofishing surveys have been undertaken in order to inform a Habitat Enhancement Plan that has been written. The Habitat Enhancement Plan displays the GPS coordinates of the FAS being deployed. Approximately half the FAS will be deployed on Saturday, November 10, 2018, with the remaining structures being deployed during early 2019.
This project complements the regions recently implemented Net Free Zone and Councils Recreational Fishing Strategy 2017-22.