Massive steel artificial reef between Garden Island and Rottnest a boon for recreational fishers

Massive steel artificial reef between Garden Island and Rottnest a boon for recreational fishers

A MASSIVE 70-tonne steel artificial reef has been sunk between Garden Island and Rottnest to boost fishing opportunities over the summer months.

The 12.5m, or four-storey high, structure is one of two that have been designed by artificial reef specialist Subcon.

Recfishwest chief executive Andrew Rowland said the reefs had been funded from recreational fishing licence fees and were for all recreational fishers to enjoy.

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“With huge projects like this, WA is showing the world what can be achieved by passionate fishers who believe in enjoyable, safe, sustainable and accessible fishing experiences for the WA community in the future,” Dr Rowland said.

He said the reefs had been specifically designed to house demersal fish species and an array of pelagic top-water fish such as samson fish, yellowtail kingfish, salmon, spanish mackerel and tuna.

“The lattice-like steel upper part of the reef will provide structure and concentrate small baitfish, attracting predatory pelagics.

The purpose-built design will also allow demersal species to shelter amongst the large base structure with its various shapes, crevices and vertical profile.”

“There’s also a good chance of king george whiting, skippy, flathead, flounder and even mulloway that are caught in the surrounding areas,” he said.

“Fishers can fish around the tower now.

“Samson fish and yellowtail kingfish should have found them by now as pelagic species and we’d love to hear if people have been fishing it.

“Anchoring right on top of the reef should be avoided, as it will limit the benefit they can have to all fishers and the chances of your anchor returning.”

He said some of the best fish were caught around the structure, not right on top of it.

A second artificial reef is set to deployed in the same region within the next few weeks.