Karumba has the only fish hatchery in the world which breeds the southern Gulf strain of barramundi
Karumba has the only fish hatchery in the world which breeds the southern Gulf strain of barramundi.
The importance of the Barramundi Discovery Centre and hatchery may sometimes be overlooked with the focus on Karumba as a mecca for recreational fishing – but it’s a fascinating place to visit and its restocking story is an inspiring one.
The centre operates as an information source and tourist attraction as well as undertaking the serious side of breeding barramundi for release into the Gulf river systems and dams. The Gulf Barramundi Restocking Association, which is a registered environmental charity, oversees the breeding hatchery where more than one million fingerlings have been bred and released over the past 15 years.
A visit to the centre will give you a totally new view on this iconic fish and the special environment which surrounds Karumba. You can feed the barramundi in their tanks some of the fish are huge! and take a tour which provides loads of information on Karumba, barramundi and other species, care for the environment and the wider Gulf area. During the fully guided tour, you can view a short video, see the exhibits in the interpretive centre and of course feed the fish. Exhibits include the migratory birdlife, a crocodile display, the unique Karumba environment and fish identification.
Barramundi are all born the same gender so the big question is how do they manage the survival of the species? They also have the ability to live in freshwater and saltwater, making them very adaptable fish. Other hatcheries have tried breeding the Gulf strain but have had no success, so the Karumba hatchery is vitally important.
As a nonprofit group, the restocking association has lots of fundraising activities throughout the year. The events are tons of fun and get everyone involved. Among them are the annual Norman River Duck Race on the last Saturday in June, the Karumba Katch Seafood Festival held in August, weekly Goose Club raffles and tours at the centre. Funds raised during the Karumba Community Anglers Classic weekend after Easter also support the hatchery’s important work.
If you are keen to become more involved even if you live nowhere near Karumba, you might like to find out about the AdoptAFish program – where you can actually adopt one of the hatchery barramundi. You will receive an adoption certificate and regular updates on the growth and development of your very own barra – what a talking point!
A laboratory and facility for fingerlings has been developed recently, which adds further capability to the centre to continue working with dedicated locals in restocking the rivers of the Gulf. There are a great range of souvenirs in the airconditioned shop including unique barramundi leather goods. So when you visit Karumba, make sure you plan some time to visit the Barramundi Discovery Centre. Please call before for the arrangement Tours which usually take place at 10.00am, 11.00am, 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 3.00pm Monday to Saturday until the end of October. Tours after this date are by appointment due to barra spawning at this time. The centre is closed on Sundays.
If you would like to contact the centre for more information, phone 07 4745 9359.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
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Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: 07 4745 9277
Fax 07 4745 9480