Mackay Chapter

The OzFish Mackay Chapter was set up by a group of fisheries ecologists from Catchment Solutions and Mackay Regional Council.

Not only do these mates love their fishing, but they’re keen to see local fishing scene go to the next level in Mackay.

The newly established Chapter would love for more rec fishers to get involved and are looking forward to welcoming new members.

Chapter members firmly believe that recreational fishers are fantastic custodians of waterway health and the greater environment. Traditionally, land and sea in the Mackay region is owned by the Yuwi people. They want to share this message and promote the benefits of fishing to the wider community.

No matter what type of fishing you’re after, Mackay and its beautiful surrounds have you sorted.

The freshwater fishing starts off in the coastal mountain ranges, clad with rainforest. These rivers hold good populations of juvenile barramundi, mangrove jack, tarpon and the occasional jungle perch. Getting into the estuaries, you can fish for barramundi, mangrove jack, king salmon and fingermark.

Staying in the freshwater, Mackay is abundant with freshwater wetland habitats such as the Gooseponds wetlands and clear bluewater river (Pioneer River).  Both these waterways are located in Mackay’s City Heart and comprise of abundant populations of the iconic barramundi.

Many rec fishers use the best days weather-wise to get out offshore and on to the magical Great Barrier Reef.

It’s here that rec fishers are able to snag coral trout, red emperor and nannygai.

The region is also home to not one, but three world-class dam fisheries:

  • The Eungella Dam holds the World Sooty Grunter Championship each year
  • The Teemburra dam is renowned for healthy populations of large barramundi.
  • The Kinchant dam is also well known for trophy-sized barramundi. Hitting the magic metre mark in these dams is achievable even for a first-timer.


If you want to help make fishing in Mackay better, you’ve come to the right place


Some of the main concerns fishers have in the area include invasive weeds, water quality, and barriers to fish passage.

The high number of barriers to fish passage prevent life cycle dependent migrations of iconic fish species such as barramundi, mangrove jack and jungle perch.

Poor water quality run-off from intensive land use flowing into freshwater, estuarine and Great Barrier Reef environments can be highly detrimental for local fish populations.

Reduced quality of in-stream and riparian habitats resulting from decades of poor land management is also an issue in the region that Chapter members would like to tackle.

Fursden Creek used to be a juvenile barramundi nursery, now it suffers from weed infestations (water hyacinth), low dissolved oxygen levels and pest fish species such as tilapia, jaguar cichlids and mosquitofish.

The Chapter have a whole range of exciting projects they would like to get underway in the region.

These include deploying fish hotels and artificial reef modules.

Improving water quality and increasing connectivity between waterways are also both high priorities for the Chapter.

All of these projects will ultimately enhance rec fishing opportunities and restore degraded fish habitats.


Mackay Fishery To Get Boost With New OzFish Chapter Ready For Work

Fish habitat restoration is to be boosted in Central Queensland with OzFish Unlimited today announcing the establishment of its newest chapter in Mackay. The newly established Mackay Chapter of the national not-for-profit will lead a beach clean-up for Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 7 March at Far Beach at 9am as its first project “Keeping our beaches and inland rivers and estuaries litter free is not just the responsibility of fishers and boaters, it’s a wider community issue,” Mackay Chapter President Matt Moore said.

Find Out More

Continue the conversation with the Mackay Chapter by following them Facebook or tagging them @OzFishMackay