Fish allure boost for Torquay reef


THE State Government is boosting fishing opportunities on Victoria’s Surf Coast within the G21 reigon with new fish-attracting devices (FADs) to be installed on an artificial reef off Torquay this summer.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced today (7 Dec 2017) that five yellow FADS would be attached to the reef by divers to attract kingfish – a highly regarded sportfish and that is also good for the dinner table.

The two-year trial is being funded through the government’s Target One Million plan, which aims to increase participation to one million anglers by 2020.

Victoria’s kingfish populations have boomed in recent years and they are now a popular target species for anglers with boats capable of heading offshore.

Each FAD consists of a large floating surface buoy attached to a long rope that descends 25 metres to the reef below.

Pelagic fish are attracted to structure, so with the addition of a smaller sub-surface buoy, the rope acts like a pathway that guides fish to the surface.

Flashing lights on the FAD will ensure safe navigation in low light and at night.

The FADs will be installed in early December and will remain there for six months, when kingfish are most active, then removed to reduce the risk of damage during large winter swells or entanglement during whale migration.

The Torquay reef was deployed in 2015 about three kilometres offshore.  It is Victoria’s biggest artificial reef, and was funded largely by recreational fishing licence fees.

The reef consists of 25 concrete modules, up to four metres high and weighing up to 20 tonnes each, arranged into five clusters of five. Each cluster will host one FAD on the surface.

“Recreational fishing just keeps getting better in Victoria. We know Victorians love their fishing and that’s why we’re making sure everyone has the opportunity to cast a line,” Minister Pulford said.

“This year alone we've stocked a record one million trout, opened Rocklands Reservoir in the Grampians and by May 2018, commercial netting will cease in Corio Bay for good.”

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Photo: Minister Pulford in 2015 inspecting the reef before it is lowered to the ocean floor. Courtesy of the Geelong Advertiser.

Source: A state government media release