Safe Salmon Fishing

fisherman standing on beach holding a salmon
Photo credit: Joachim Azzopardi

Salmon are a great sportfish that move in large schools along the Western Australian coast each Autumn. As the salmon hug the coastline during the migration they can be easily caught from the beach, making them a popular target for fishers of all ages and abilities. Schools can number in the thousands and are often visible from the shore.

Aerial view of large school of salmon close to beach in Western Australia
School of salmon close to shore. Photo credit: Scott Coghlan

The annual salmon run starts as the schools move through Esperance around the end of January, making their way west along the southern coast towards Cape Leeuwin. They then continue up the coast reaching Perth in late April and into May.

Suitable for catch and release or catch and keep with appropriate care techniques, this large fish can make for an exhilarating catch. However, their popularity can push some fishers into overdrive, going to extremes to target these fish and overlooking their own safety.

Since 2002, 40 fatalities directly related to rock fishing have been recorded in WA, many of which have occurred during the peak salmon season. 13 of these fatalities occurred at the Salmon Holes area in Albany’s Torndirrup National Park.

With Western Australia boasting some of the best beaches in the world, why not enjoy them and “keep the sand between your toes” as a safer choice this salmon season. More information about fishing safety can be found at the Recfishwest website.

Royal Life Saving WA and Recfishwest encourage all fishers to adopt safe fishing practices and avoid rockfishing due to the inherent dangers involved. If you absolutely must fish from the rocks, check out our tips for doing so at the link below.

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Article cover photo courtesy of Chelsea Roney

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