MIXED BAG: Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet. The traditional start to the 2015 mullet run is off to a patchy start for some fishermen on the Sunshine Coast who are hoping weather conditions will be more favourable soon.
MIXED BAG: Tom Durbidge hauls in a catch of mullet. The traditional start to the 2015 mullet run is off to a patchy start for some fishermen on the Sunshine Coast who are hoping weather conditions will be more favourable soon. Warren Lynam

Start of mullet season runs into trouble

COAST mullet fisherman Kevin Cannon's small but experienced team has had a weather-delayed start to this year's season.

Fishermen to his north and south have had success but so far, this winter has only provided the Mudjimba-based veteran "a little hatful".

The ocean temperature has yet to drop to the suitable 20-degree mark and south- westerly winds which he desires are yet to blow in.

Traditionally, early June is when mullet start running in beach gutters.

"It doesn't really look like we are going to get a south- westerly for a couple of weeks," Mr Cannon said.

"It's just been a case of wait and see."

He had heard of good hauls at Caloundra as well as Noosa but as yet, no luck in between.

Mr Cannon, 67, said his crew members were aged 66 and 65 with the youngest member about 45.

He has been walking the beaches with nets since the late '50s but struggles to see how younger generations could take up the craft.

He said the possibility of laws changing or restrictions being added meant it was unlikely banks would loan the money needed to get started.

"There's no certainty in it for the young fellows," he said.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district manager Greg Bowness said the traditional winter migration of the sea mullet provided commercial operators with an important opportunity and netting activity had already escalated.

"Seafood wholesalers should have a plentiful supply of fresh local mullet," Mr Bowness said. "It is a commercially important species and although inspections show high levels of compliance with fisheries regulations, including fish size, licensing, net length and mesh size, QBFP will be in the region to monitor activity."

Mr Bowness asked recreational fishers to allow commercial netters to conduct their activities safely during the mullet run by giving them room to operate.



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