THE coming of the rains has presented something of a mixed bag to both professional and amateur fishers alike.
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With the Karuah, Paterson,Williams and the lower Hunter rivers on flood- watch, amateur anglers can look forward to good hauls in the coming weeks. This will happen as fish are flushed out of the upper reaches of the estuarine systems and down into the saltier waters.
On the other hand professional fishers have been dealt something of a mixed hand. The lockdown of the Chinese market, due to the corona virus has seen prices collapse as local fisherman Robert Hamilton explains:
“I troll for surface fish off Port Stephens,” he said.
“The price at the markets for bonito has nose-dived some $9 per kilo and Tasmanian lobsters which once brought $100 per kg at the wharf are now lucky to go for around $40 per kg at the fishmarkets,” he added.
Robert, who also operates a trawler out of Raymond Terrace, is pinning his hopes on a good run of prawns.
“It has been a terrible season for prawns in the Hunter as they usually don’t run without a flow in the river. With the Hunter runoff now coming down, we hope that the prawns will make their move,” he said.
”The next week or two should be good,” he added.
“ We are also waiting for the ‘February dark’,” he said,
“As the Myall River will hopefully bring with it the much sought after prawns which command high prices,” he concluded.