Fishers and other water users are being reminded to keep safe during the annual Western Australian salmon run, as the first schools of the popular recreational fish appear along the South Coast near Albany.
The annual salmon run draws in keen recreational fishers to spots right along our coast as the fish make their autumn migration from the Great Southern, up north to Perth and beyond. Some years WA salmon have been spotted as far north as Exmouth.
Chasing bait fish close to the coast, the salmon provide great fishing opportunities for recreational anglers, usually in March, April and sometimes May.
It is safer to fish for WA salmon from our beautiful sandy beaches, rather than coastal rocks. If you do decide to fish from rocks, using a lifejacket and adhering to local warnings are important precautions.
Wearing lifejackets at Salmon Holes, near Albany, is now mandatory after the WA lifejacket trial commenced earlier this year. Anyone not wearing a Type 1 lifejacket in the trial area can attract a fine of $200. A prosecution penalty could be as high as $1,000. Joint patrols are being carried out by Fisheries officers and rangers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
To help keep fishers safe, the WA Government provides funding for Recfishwest’s Fish and Survive program. Through this program there are 105 free loan lifejackets available across 17 locations, 60 rock anchor points on the South-West and South coasts, and 45 angel rings between Dunsborough and Esperance.
For more safety tips, visit www.fishandsurvive.com.au
Other water users are also urged to remember that as the salmon move along WA’s coastline during autumn they also attract large marine predators. These predators include dolphins, seals, sea lions and a range of shark species.