BRUCE Ellem is optimistic of a good prawn trawl season despite being one of 37 trawlers on Lake Wooloweyah to come in empty at yesterday's season opening.
He said with prawns being caught in the river by pocket netters and the correct moon phase, the slow start to the season could be attributed to cooler weather conditions.
"You get theses low pressure systems and the prawns will take off," he said.
"But there wasn't even a crop of juvenile prawn there.
"There is nothing wrong with the water quality the prawns just weren't there.
"There is certainly a lot of prawns in the river and with it being the start of the season you have just gotta go out.
"If the weather warms up next week you might find there are lots of prawns out there."
After trawling the lake for more than 13 years Mr Ellem said the dredged channel was great news.
"The dredging allows safe passage out for the boats which was brilliant ... it's the best thing they have ever done."
Lobbying of the O'Farrell Government by former member for Clarence Steve Cansdell saw the council receive more than $124,000 to dredge Palmers Channel.