Catch, Effort and CPUE
Records of Snook catches peaked at 17 t in 1997/98 and have remained relatively stable around 3 – 9 t since 1998/99 (Figure below). Catch in the 2020/21 season was close to the historical low at 2.3 t (Figure below). Effort and catch for Snook have been concentrated on the north coast in recent years, including the current season. The northeast coast has been the focus for troll gear, while small mesh net fishing has occurred in both the northeast coast and northwest coast regions across the time series.
Past surveys of recreational fishing suggest that neither pike species is an important target for recreational fishers (Lyle et al. 2009), and that around 57% of all pike caught by recreational fishers are released (Lyle et al. 2009). No estimates of recreational landings by weight have been made but catch estimates by number are available and it’s reasonable to assume an average weight of 1 kg per fish. Based on this assumption, estimates of recreational catch were notably higher than commercial catch in the most recent recreational survey (~9 t in 2017/18, when commercial catch was 5.8 t) (Lyle et al. 2019).
Commercial troll and small mesh net effort, the main capture methods for Snook, have been variable through time. In 2020/21, effort was less than half of the effort value from the reference year (Figure above).
CPUE has been variable through time (Figure above). Troll CPUE is influenced by species availability and targeting practices, whereas CPUE for both beach seine and small mesh net, for which snook is a by-product species, is not particularly informative (Figure above).
The full 2020/21 Scalefish Assessment, released Dec 2022, can be found at the link: