Tag data tracks barra's survival

Hundreds of barramundi fingerlings are released into the Pioneer River by fish stocking sponsors Barry Vella, of The Meng Group, Bruce Nash, of Nashy's Compleat Angler, and Steven Vella, of Toyo Tyres.
Hundreds of barramundi fingerlings are released into the Pioneer River by fish stocking sponsors Barry Vella, of The Meng Group, Bruce Nash, of Nashy's Compleat Angler, and Steven Vella, of Toyo Tyres. Contributed

HE'S been dubbed Barry the Barramundi and he has an amazing story of survival to tell.

Marine biologists and fishery experts have been amazed by Barry's incredible four-year journey, which took him 850km and into the ocean, possibly to breed.

Barry was one of 848 tagged barramundi fingerlings released into Theresa Creek Dam (also known as Lake Theresa) by the Clermont Fish Stocking Association on November 10, 2007.

He was caught off Wiggins Island, near Gladstone, two weeks ago.

The organisation responsible for the tagging and releasing of fish in Queensland, SunTag, reports that Barry (official tag number T14928) was 850mm in length when caught. It had been 1545 days (four years and two months) since he was put into Theresa Creek Dam.

During those four years and two months, Barry had travelled 850km downstream over six weir walls and south through narrow creeks.

Eventually he got into the Fitzroy River, out into the ocean and headed south of Wiggins Island where angler Johnny Mitchell caught him, noted his tag number and released him to continue on his merry way.

"Since the barra stocking in Clermont in November, 2007, there have been 33 recaptures in the estuary and beyond and that is an impressive 3.9% of all fish from that batch," SunTag said.

"This latest recapture shows the powerful urge and tenacity of barramundi to get to the estuary."

Everyone is now waiting with bated breath to see if Barry is caught and reported again.



The Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association says:

  • It put 5000 barra fingerlings into Marian Weir in early December
  • Released 3000 fingerlings into Dumbleton Weir at the weekend
  • There will be 10,000 fingerlings released into Teemburra Dam this week
  • All the latest fingerlings come from the Jungle Creek Hatchery at Innisfail

Topics:  barramundi

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