In 2007 Barramundi stocks in the Fitzroy River in Central Queensland were considered to have reached an all time low following a long drought period. Fishing was continuing as usual and there was no management response. That spawned the idea that forecasting the status of fish stocks would provide fishers with information they could use in their decision making and the Crystal Bowl was born.
From 2008-2011 Infofish collected data that would underpin the development of the Crystal Bowl and the first forecasts were made in 2011. Forecasts focused on fish sizes, catch rates, trends in stock and recruitment. The forecasts and the process for making the forecasts are continually being refined and improved.
Since then forecasting has been extended to more species and other locations where sufficient data were available such as Gladstone. It was also extended to Lake Samsonvale which is a freshwater impoundment in Brisbane.
In 2015 the Fitzroy River was made a net free zone with the removal of commercial net fishing. The Rockhampton Regional Council responded with the development of a recreational fishing development strategy and decided that the Crystal Bowl would be used to inform the development of strategy and assist with decision making.
In 2016 realtime monitoring was introduced for 21 species and 73 locations using data collected through Suntag. Forecasts and realtime monitoring are available at http://crystal-bowl.com.au.