Reef balls to hook anglers at Peel and Coochie

Redland anglers have been given extra fishing spots after more than 224 concrete reef balls, costing $265,000, were tipped into waters off Peel and Coochiemudlo islands on Tuesday.

A Stradbroke Ferries barge spent all day loading, transporting and then dropping the balls in to waters about 3 nautical miles west of Peel Island and at the East Coochie Reef.

Reef balls were first installed under the previous state government in 2010 as compensation for anglers when tighter marine park zonings were put in place in Moreton Bay.

There are 11 reef ball clusters to the north-west of Peel Island covering 50ha and seven clusters off Coochiemudlo's eastern shores, covering about 15ha.

Each cluster ranges in height from 50cm to 80cm off the sea floor and is made up of about 16 balls, which are spaced about 2m apart.

A large crane hoisted the 600kg balls off the barge deck before they were lowered into the water to settle on the seabed at a depth of 14.5m.

The operation, on Tuesday, June 11, was to top-up Peel Island's existing 117 reef balls with 128 extra concrete balls and add 96 to Coochie reef's existing 78 balls.

Recreational fishing group Ausfish welcomed the reef extensions along with Member for Cleveland Mark Robinson, an advocate for more artificial reefs in Moreton Bay.

"This increase in artificial reef will produce a better inshore fishing experience for families, and improve the sustainability of the bay without locking out recreational fishers," Mr Robinson said.

"The government is committed to opening up our national and marine park areas for all to enjoy and projects such as this are an important part of that plan."

Ausfish member Phill Kliese said the reef ball program was good for anglers and the environment.

"The government said the artificial reefs were to ease pressure on fishing spots in Moreton Bay but they do much more than that," Mr Kliese said.

"I hope the Newman government jumps on board and continues to support this great project that should be rolled out along the Queensland coast to assist the fishery, habitat and environment."

There are four other artificial reefs in the Moreton Bay Marine Park.

The North Moreton Artificial Reef, built in 2011, is about 3Nm off the northern tip of Moreton Island and was made of 25 fish boxes at a depth of 14m and is deep enough for spearfishermen.

Others are at Wild Banks, about 12Nm east of Bribie Island; the Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef, about 12Nm west of Amity Point and the South Stradbroke Artificial Reef, made of 20 concrete cubes covering 208ha at 23m to attract reef and larger pelagic fish.

The coordinates for West Peel artificial reef are 27 29.880' S; 153 18.725' E.

Go to 27 34.106' S; 153 21.094' E for the East Coochie artificial reef. The artificial reef at South Straddie is at 27 52.784' S; 153 27.316' E.

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