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A Day at the Duckpond by Garry Fitzgerald

SITUATED approximately half way between Childers and Bundaberg lays a relatively unknown lake that is a quiet achiever in producing some quality fish.
Lake Gregory is also known as the Isis Balancing Storage or locally referred to simply "The Duckpond".
This relatively small impoundment of some 200 hectares surface area with an average depth of around three meters is dominated by large weed beds that surround the lake fringes.
These large areas of weed can make fishing difficult at times especially for land based anglers, as there are few places that enjoy a clear path free of weed.

Being officially stocked with bass, silver perch and snub nosed gar there have been consistent rumors of the odd tarpon, barramundi and saratoga being caught.
The barra and tarpon could well have been present prior to the construction of the dam or pumped in as the duckpond is an off stream storage on the Elliott River.
The main target species here are bass.
Bass can be enticed with shallow deep diving lures cast or trolled along the creek bed edges or cast into some of the large stands of lily pads.
Fly fishing here can be an enjoying way to get onto a few fish by using a wide range of flies.
Bass seem only too eager to rise to a surface lure or fly, even in the middle of the day.
Alternatively, anglers can suspend a live shrimp under a float along the outside of weedbeds or lily pads for great results.
On a recent trip there I was fortunate enough to see dozens of eel tailed catfish (tandans) attending their nests in the gravelly creek along side the standing timber, thus ensuring the next generation of these often under rated fish at this location.
A Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) is required to fish at the Duckpond (Lake Gregory).

To get to the duckpond, follow the Isis highway 26 km from Childers and turn right into Voss road just before crossing the Elliot River bridge.
Follow Voss road until you see a small pump shed with a dirt track on your right.
Turn right into the dirt track and follow this in for only a few hundred meters until you find the lake.
The bass closed season does not apply here but the standard bag limit of two per angler is strictly enforced.

There is no concrete boat ramp at the Duckpond but there is a fairly stable gravel launching area adjacent to the main wall.
The area directly in front of the gravel ramp is kept relatively free of weeds from boats launching here.
There are no boating restrictions applied to the duckpond although larger vessels may have trouble launching and retrieving in the shallow water.

Bar B Qs and a shelter shed were once provided in this area but were vandalised and have not been replaced by dam operators Sunwater.
There is no drinking water provided so make sure that you take plenty with you if you don't fancy drinking the water from the lake.

Many of the bass in the duckpond are around the 45 cm mark and are getting bigger every season.
With continued stocking the Duckpond could well see a bright future with anglers utilizing this location as an alternative to the many saltwater opportunities that are available in the region or when weather isn't suitable elsewhere.
The opportunity may exist in the near future to stock other species such as barramundi and mangrove jack.
Having had very little press to date the word has been quickly spreading about the Duckpond and the fishing opportunities it provides.
I would expect to see more interest in the Duckpond in the very near future.

I know that I'll be going back there and hope to see some of you there.

Garry Fitzgerald.

Gravel Ramp A four wheel drive isn't necessary to launch here...but it does help.
Local angler Mark Jones releasing an average sized Duckpond bass.
Releasing your fish helps to maintain the fishery
Clich here to see large version

Map of Lake Gregory





Copyright© 2000 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia