Region casts net to catch fishing tourists

LAKE Awoonga has only recently been receiving the recognition it de- serves but Gladstone Area Promo- tion and Development Limited (GAPDL) is doing its best to change that and reel in the fishing tourists.

Recent fishing competitors at Lake Awoonga, top fishermen and visiting journalists have all praised the quality of fishing at Lake Awoonga and proved its place as one of Australia's top barramundi fish- ing lakes.

GAPDL CEO Danial Rochford has recognised Lake Awoonga holds high esteem with fishermen and the importance of fishing tourism to the region.

'Fishing tourism is going to be one of the biggest opportunities for the Gladstone region,' Mr Rochford said.

Mr Rochford said fishing tourists, which were described in a number of ways, already made up a large percentage of tourists to the area.

He estimated fishing tourists made up about 20 per cent of Glad- stone's tourism market.

GAPDL has recently increased its marketing to fishing tourists accord- ingly.

'We've established a new market-ing brand, Bass to Barra Trail, to encourage tourists to the area.'

The Bass to Barra Trail will in- clude a new guide promoting lakes such as Lake Awoonga, Lake Callide and Lake Cania.

But it's mainly thanks to Lake Awoonga.

'It's a great opportunity to show- case Lake Awoonga,' Mr Rochford said.

Mr Rochford said a recent visiting international journalist rated Lake Awoonga as one of the top 10 fishing lakes in the world.

Mr Rochford said he believed the fishing tourism market could only increase.

'It will continue to grow and grow,' Mr Rochford said.

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