The Snapper fishing season starts on Saturday, February 1, in South East waters and 606 recreational fishers from across the state have been successful in obtaining 3030 Snapper tags in the first Snapper fishing ballot.
Fishing for Snapper is only allowed in South East waters between February 1 and October 31, while the waters of Gulf St Vincent, Spencer Gulf and the West Coast has a Snapper fishing ban until January 31, 2023.
There were more than 3600 applications. Across regional South Australia, 392 recreational fishers have been successful in obtaining 1960 snapper fishing tags and 214 metropolitan fishers will share 1070 snapper tags.
Snapper fishing tags were given to 16 successful fishers from the Adelaide Hills, seven from Barossa, Light and Lower North, 23 from Eyre Peninsula and Western, 23 from Yorke and Mid North, five from Murray and Mallee and 19 from the Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island.
South East recreational fishers were given precedence in the ballot process and included 45 tags allocated to Beachport fishers, 40 tags to fishers at Bordertown, 185 to Kingston S.E., 320 to Mount Gambier, 55 to Port Macdonnell, 70 to Robe and 260 tags secured by Victor Harbour/Goolwa region fishers.
Victor Harbor man Brian Hockney was one lucky angler who received five Snapper tags and was surprised.
"It was a ballot and I was quite shocked when I found out I was successful. I know of many very keen fishers who missed out and how disappointed they are. It is amazing, as there is a fair amount of paperwork that comes with the five tags," Mr Hockney said.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the recreational snapper fishing tag ballot was an important part of the new snapper management arrangements, aimed at ensuring snapper stocks in the South East are not over exploited.
"The random ballot was overseen by an independent panel and all recreational fishers who applied had a fair chance to be selected," he said.
In addition to the recreational tags, charter boat operators with an active licence will also each receive 49 tags, which provides another potential snapper fishing option for unsuccessful recreational fishers in this year's ballot.
Recreational fishing snapper tag holders must be in possession of tags in their name at all times when fishing for snapper. Tags are colour-coded to ensure that they are only used in the 2020 snapper season and are not transferrable between recreational fishers.
For more details on snapper fishing visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/snapper