Pilbara Barra Comp

Does anyone know of any Barramundi Comps either in Karratha/Dampier or Port Hedland?

Adam Gallash's picture

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Barra comps

Tue, 2006-06-06 09:33

Did a bit of looking for you Jay, doesn't seem to be any obvious ones around. Hopefully someone might be able to help you out on this one.



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Correct me if I'm wrong

Wed, 2006-06-07 15:59

Things may have changed,

A few years back when a cobber of mine lived in the Pilbara, he lamented the lack of barra and it was attributed to netting the creek mouths by those with the inherrent legal right to do so!

Then Fisheries banned the use of nets in the creeks and the Barra had a big come back - with him catching some great specimens in Johns Creek just outta Pt Sampson on fly.

Then I heard that the Fisheries minister reversed the netting decision - and that likely the Barra stocks would all plummet again as the nets all went back into use?

So has that happened?

Are those with the inherrent legal right to net - killing the pig and destroying the Fishery again after it only just recovered?

This might be a clue as to why there are no comps up there - it was always considered a waste of time and effort, due to the netting pressure and before the Barra Fisheriy could recover enough to be great again, the no netting decision, was reversed again?

Whats the state of play now - do you still have to risk life and limb to cross Nikol Bay in a punt to get up creeks located far enough from town not to have been netted to death to catch a barra?

Theres no denying the Pilbra could be a Barra Mecca if the Fishery was valued enough to protect it from the gill netters!

Anyone know the current situation?
Is the Fishery on the way down?
Are the nets back in the water?
Curious minds would like to know! ;o)


Spooled's picture

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Flywest as far as know the

Wed, 2006-06-07 19:57

Flywest as far as know the netting is a no go up in the Pilbara. After the long weekend there has been reports that a couple of individuals decided to net the mouth of a river in a populated area for some unknown reason and they paid the consequences. Through the fishing gossip column up here the fisheries had there day and took the car and boat from this paritcular fella.
So from that, I would imagine that netting up here is a definite no go zone. Thank god. The barra stocks have definitely started to rebuild in the Pilbara which is great too see. Unfortunately we will probably not see a Barra now for the next five months while the water is too cold. It is just a waiting game now for the warmer waters again starting around October/ November!!
Regards Spooled
P.S you never no though, there maybe one or two hanging around with woolie jumper on!!

jay_burgess's picture

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Not sure Flywest.. good

Wed, 2006-06-07 16:25

Not sure Flywest.. good point there though I'll have to ask around and do a bit of research on that one. As far as I'm aware there isn't any netting currently. We haven't had any trouble getting barra over the last couple of years, we've got heaps of BIG barra and heard many reports of meter+ barra.

Quote from Wangler Website;
"Commercial, and to a lesser extent recreational, exploitation used to be the biggest threat to barramundi stocks but that would appear to no longer be the case in WA although barra stocks are considered to be commercially fully exploited. Barra are very vulnerable to netting as they move in and out of small creeks and rivers, and in recognition of this all recreational haul and set netting is banned north of Beadon Creek at Onslow. In addition, some rivers have recently been closed to commercial netting."

hmmm... SOME rivers closed to commercial netting. Interesting to know which ones exactly. I've never seen commercial netters in any of the rivers in the pilbara though.

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I was being subtle!

Wed, 2006-06-07 17:06

I was trying to say something but be politically correct in how I did it!

I am not talking about Commercial netters & I am not talking about recreational netters either!

There is only one 'other group' in a fisheries legislative sense, with an 'inherrent right' (inherited rights) to net under guise of 'traditional subsistence fishing' (hint!).

I am sure this group never had monofilament nets back before 1770, but somehow they are allowed to utilise these now as well as a dingy and outboard, as a 'traditional' right!.

Whats traditional about a gil net & boat with outbaord, I have no idea! :rollseyes:

Sorry - I've tried real hard not to appear as if I was an "ist" in a "race" with these statements! ;o)


jay_burgess's picture

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Oh sorry I didn't see your

Wed, 2006-06-07 17:56

Oh sorry I didn't see your point in your first post flywest (it's clear now)... I don't think that these 'other groups' should be able to net either. One of my mates has seen it first hand when he went to one of our 'productive spots' while they were doing their thing. He didn't get any barra that day... :(
However, I don't wish to start a debate on this subject.. I've seen it turn ugly on other forums.

Spooled's picture

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Jay in regards to the barra

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:01

Jay in regards to the barra comp, I was up doing the Gibb river road about three years ago and on my way back to Broome decided to spend a couple days fishing the mouth of the Fitzory river. Low and behold when you think you are in the middle of nowhere you find a huge fishing competition. This was held just out of Wilare roadhouse near Derby around October time!! Not sure what the go was there but they had huge marque's set up and with advertising everywhere out on the river. May pay to ring Willare and find out dates if you would travel the distance. I think i may this year!!
I like to stay close to home though. No Crocs. Or so we hope! ;-)

jay_burgess's picture

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I'm doing the Gibb River

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:07

I'm doing the Gibb River road with the old man this winter. We'll be heading up to fitzroy crossing later this June... unfortunately it'll be a bit cool for barra but I'm hoping for some threadies ;) I'll keep you posted mate :)

Spooled's picture

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Sounds Good!!

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:11

Sounds good Jay!! Would be interested to see some big whiskeries from the Kimberley's.

jay_burgess's picture

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Any good spots you can

Wed, 2006-06-07 20:25

Any good spots you can recommend along the gibb river road?

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Just did a check myself!

Wed, 2006-06-07 21:05

The netting rules 2006 are vailable at the link below!


It seems the group we are speaking about are exempt from rec licensing but NOT from the rules / closed area's, which is good to know (this is different to what I was told would be the case!).

This section applies
1.2.1 Aboriginal's exempt from licensing except for commercial!

Closures and rules apply to All Australians including aboriginal's.

3.2 Pilbara Kimberley Region!

Mullet only species to be kept, all others must be returned to the water

So - in effect - no Barra can be netted in the Pilbara at all by anyone!

This can only be good for the fishery!

If it does indeed recover as it should - then mabe a Pilbara omp will become a reality!

Waterflows can sometimes be a bit irregular up there!.

If advertising a comp far and wide well ahead of time - you need to be fairly confident of your water situation well ahead of time which is always hard in the Pilbara!

Often it's an all or nothing situation, not enouh water for a comp or if a cyclone goes thru - too much for a comp to be safe!

No doubt there are some good fish tho!

What about stocking man made impoundements like the one outta Newman with Barra?

Can't wait till Lake Argyle gets Barra stocked - it will likely produce some humungous fish in time! As would the diversion dam no doubt!


jay_burgess's picture

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Harding Dam

Wed, 2006-06-07 21:21

lol the harding dam (just out of robourne) could be stocked with bara I guess. Flywest.. after hearing that information, next time I see aboriginals netting in the pilbara I will be definately telling them where to go!

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Are we real

Wed, 2006-06-07 21:40

Perhaps if we looked at traditional fishing in a different perspective.
Maybe before us whiteys came on the scene our indigenous mates could have caught all they require via traditional fishing methods???.
Nowadays after we have eliminated the majority of fish from many areas by our ``modern fishing ``(a lot of which is now banned) they have been forced to resort to similar techniques.Unfortunately many of our original inhabitants do not have the mobility available to us when it comes to fishing so when we move further afield to rape the next area they can not do the same and so use further destructive means to survive which of course creates an a self appreciating form of degradation.
A mtually beneficial solution would be appreciated.

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Date Joined: 04/02/06


Thu, 2006-06-08 13:58

Aboriginal fishing has a right to exist, as they were part of this ecosystem long before us Giudia's (White Fella's)!

Yes our technological methods remove fish such that it would be hard to susistence fish, with traditional rock or stick fish traps etc that might have once upon a time been used.

So - should not aboriginal resients have reserves for their exclusive use????

If they were a part of the balanced ecosystem before our arrival, then shouldn't they be able to use traditional methods and tools inside say Marine parks?

What I object too is the loss of culture and traditional methods, when they resport to use of 4wds, guns, boats and nets!

If they had proper reserves for aboriginal traditionl fishing rights - then maybe they could preserve their propper culture & practices and skills knowlege base for their future generations benefit!

They are definitely between a rock & a hard place, as described, with us Gudia's depleting their traditional stocks in area's close to their home, with advanced technologys!

I for one would NOT object to appropriate Aboriginal only fishing / hunting reserves for that reason!

After Mabo - they are now able to lay cliam to area's of ocean that have traditionally been used for Fishing & Hunting!

Maybe they should do more of this - but if so IMHO they SHOULD be prepared to go back to traditional methods and tools technologies, if for no other reason than to preserve that cultural background!

This does occur in some other countries, Canada's first nations regulations are a good case in point where the salmon runs etc are still used for fod - to be dried and smoked etc etc.

IMHO - we would do well to send some of the intelligent young leaders of our First Nations people - to places like Canada on a cultural exchange to study their laws and regulations (and culture) that their First nations people enjoy - so that they can come back and try to gain similar legsilative benefits for our First nations people!

My 2c