Restocking program puts prawns back on the menu

King prawns are back on the menu after a seven-year absence at Wallagoot Lake on the NSW south coast, thanks to a restocking program lead by UNSW scientists

Eastern king prawns are back on the menu after a seven-year absence at Wallagoot Lake, near the NSW south coast town of Merimbula, following a prawn restocking program that is yielding wins for prawners and the environment.

Prawners are reporting catches of up to three kilograms an hour and recreational anglers who use them as bait have had excellent fish catches.

Beginning 18 months ago, eight million juvenile eastern king prawns were stocked in the Wallagoot and Back lakes near Merimbula. Another three million are due for release in December.

The restocking program has been a triumph for prawners, according to project leader, UNSW biologist Dr Matt Taylor.

"Before the release program, eastern king prawns hadn't been captured in Wallagoot Lake for more than seven years. We have tracked their growth and survival rates, and for the first time we will tag prawns with acoustic pingers."

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Media contact: Dan Gaffney | 0411 156 015 | d.gaffney@unsw.edu.au