Dr Brian Paterson with a female (left) and male Queensland mud crab. Picture: Mark Calleja.
Dr Brian Paterson with a female (left) and male Queensland mud crab. Picture: Mark Calleja.

WANTED: Fishers to report sightings of female mud crabs

Ask any fisher and they can tell you female Queensland mud crabs are off-limits but very little else is known about them.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is hoping to change that with the help of recreational and commercial fishers.

Principal Fisheries scientist Dr Julie Robins said they were looking for fishers to report sightings of egg-bearing female mud crabs to help fill the knowledge gaps.

"We know (mud crab) are subject to heavy fishing pressure in some regions and to black marketing, and their populations are affected by environmental events like floods and prolonged droughts with excessive temperatures," Dr Robins said.

"But we don't know enough about many aspects of the mud crab life cycle in Queensland (east coast and Gulf of Carpentaria), such as how many mud crabs there are, how many females compared to males, and where females go to spawn.

"We want to identify where migrating females release their eggs and what proportion of these females return to estuaries post-spawning."

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The citizen scientist data will help Fisheries estimate growth, movement and mortality which will inform harvest strategies to ensure plenty of mud crabs into the future.

To report an egg-bearing female mud crab, take a photo, note down the location and date and email your observations to info@daf.qld.gov.au or phone 132 523.

 

MACKAY WEEKEND WEATHER

 

Friday: Mostly sunny. Slight (20 per cent) chance of a shower. Light winds becoming east to north-easterly 15 to 20 km/h in the early afternoon then becoming light in the late afternoon. Minimum of 23C, maximum of 33C. Sun protection recommended from 7.50am to 4.10pm, UV index predicted to reach 14 (extreme).

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Slight (20 per cent) chance of a shower in the afternoon and evening. Light winds becoming easterly 20 to 25 km/h during the day then becoming light during the evening. Minimum of 23C, maximum of 32C. Sun protection recommended from 7.50am to 4.10pm, UV index predicted to reach 14 (extreme).

Sunday: Partly cloudy. Slight (20 per cent) chance of a shower. Light winds becoming easterly 20 to 25 km/h during the morning then becoming light during the evening. Minimum of 23C, maximum of 32C. Sun protection recommended from 7.50am to 4.10pm, UV index predicted to reach 13 (extreme).

 

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BOM coastal waters forecast from Bowen to St Lawrence:

Friday:

Winds: East to north-easterly about 10 knots.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: East to north-easterly below 1m.

Saturday:

Winds: East to north-easterly 10 to 15 knots.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: East to north-easterly below 1m.

Sunday:

Winds: Easterly 10 to 15 knots, reaching up to 20 knots inshore north of Mackay in the late afternoon.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: East to north-easterly below 1m.

 

Finally, the all-important tide times (outer Mackay Harbour):

Friday: High tide of 4.24m at 1.13am, low tide of 1.14m at 7.07am, high tide of 5.82m at 12.43pm and low tide of 1.14m at 7.29pm.

Saturday: High tide of 4.04m at 2.06am, low tide of 1.51m at 7.55am, high tide of 5.13m at 2.21pm and low tide of 1.54pm at 10.13pm.

Sunday: High tide of 3.91m, low tide of 1.84m at 8.51am, high tide of 4.82m at 3.18pm and low tide of 1.63m at 10.13pm.

 

WHITSUNDAYS WEEKEND WEATHER

 

Friday: Hot and mostly sunny. Slight (20 per cent) chance of a shower. Light winds becoming northeasterly 15 to 25km/h in the middle of the day then becoming light in the late evening. Overnight temperatures falling to the low to mid 20Cs with daytime temperatures reaching 32C to 37C. Sun protection recommended from 7.50am to 4.10pm, UV index predicted to reach 14 (extreme).

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Slight (20 per cent) chance of a shower in the afternoon and evening. The chance of a thunderstorm in the south in the afternoon and evening. Light winds becoming east to northeasterly 15 to 25km/h during the day then becoming light during the evening. Overnight temperatures falling to the low to mid 20Cs with daytime temperatures reaching 31C to 36C. Sun protection recommended from 7.50am to 4.10pm, UV index predicted to reach 14 (extreme).

Sunday: Hot. Partly cloudy. Slight (20 per cent) chance of a shower near the coast, near zero chance elsewhere. Light winds becoming easterly 15 to 25km/h during the morning then becoming light during the evening. Overnight temperatures falling to the low to mid 20Cs with daytime temperatures reaching 31C to 37C. Sun protection recommended from 7.50am to 4.10pm, UV index predicted to reach 14 (extreme).

 

BOM coastal waters forecast for the Whitsundays from Cardwell to Bowen:

Friday:

Winds: East to northeasterly about 10 knots with afternoon inshore seabreezes up to 15 knots.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: Easterly around 1m outside the reef.

Saturday:

Winds: East to northeasterly 10 to 15 knots.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: East to northeasterly below 1m.

Sunday:

Winds: Easterly about 10 knots increasing to 10 to 15 knots during the morning.

Seas: Below 1m.

Swell: Easterly around 1m outside the reef.

 

Finally, the all-important tide times (Shute Harbour):

Friday: High tide of 2.36m at 2.06am, low tide of 0.79m at 6.38am, high tide of 3.6m at 1.32pm and low tide of 1m at 8.36pm.

Saturday: High tide of 2.27m at 2.12am, low tide of 1.05m at 7.30am, high tide of 3.36m at 2.29pm and low tide of 1.03m at 9.38pm.

Sunday: High tide of 2.27m at 3.26am, low tide of 1.28m at 8.34am, high tide of 3.17m at 3.33pm and low tide of 1m at 10.37pm.


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