North Regional TAFE keeps ensuring Lake Kununurra is brimming with barra

Lake Kununurra, a safe freshwater fishing location boasting 1m barramundi.

It’s the pursuit for trophy fish which sees anglers travel to Kununurra for the opportunity to land these big, bustling barra.

While the 55km lake is the main attraction, one of the most important pieces of the ongoing Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking program is based more than 1,000km away… at Broome.

WATCH: See how barra are bred at North Regional TAFE

More than one million barra, all hatched and reared at North Regional TAFE’s Broome Aquaculture Centre, have been released into Lake Kununurra since 2013.

The TAFE's aquaculture experts have been influential in the well-managed stocking program’s success, nurturing the barra after they are hatched.

Then, when the fish are about 50 days old, they safely transport them across the Kimberley during an almost 12-hour journey to their soon-to-be new home – Lake Kununurra. 

In September, 2021, Fisheries Minister Don Punch toured the North Regional TAFE’s aquaculture facility to take an up-close look at how the barra are bred.

Watch the video above and hear how the aquaculture experts breed barra for the Lake Kununurra Barramundi Stocking Program.

Barra eggs and larvae require saltwater for successful fertilisation and Lake Kununurra is freshwater, meaning the barra stocked cannot complete the breeding cycle in the lake.

That’s why multiple spawning events take place at the North Regional TAFE hatchery throughout the year, with one female barramundi producing up to 10 million eggs in the hatchery. 

With one million more barra set to be stocked into Lake Kununurra over the next three years from 2021 as part of the State Government's recfishing COVID recovery package, North Regional TAFE will continue to play a critical role in the barramundi stocking program’s development.