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Poll

Should the Bass closed season be removed above weirs?

Yes - fishing should be year round in all waters
Yes - a review is need to identify those barriers and remove from closed season as needed
Yes - a closed season is a waste of time period
Undecided - does a closed season achieve anything?
Undecided - not convinced that stocked bass are bad in the wild
No - maintain the status quo
No - The bass closed season should apply to dams as well
No - Bass (including stocked bass) should be totally protected year round
Other - I will post a reply

Author Topic: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters  (Read 5023 times)

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Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« on: May 09, 2012, 09:01:25 PM »
With the Australian Bass closed season fast approaching, I again ponder the value of having a closed season in waters where these fish are stocked, particularly in regard to waters upstream of barriers.

Why have a closed season?
Qutoe from Qld Fisheries website below covers it....
Quote
Why do we have closed seasons?
Closed seasons (regulated waters) prevent people from fishing at certain times of the year to protect species at vulnerable times in their life cycle, such as during spawning seasons.

Australian bass
A closed season applies to Australian bass throughout Queensland from 1 June to 31 August. See also the section on freshwater closed seasons (Australian bass) for information on taking bass from some fresh water during the closure.

Do we want stocked bass to spawn?
With virtually no genetic monitoring of hatchery bred bass, the risk of inbreeding is quite real. So the answer has to be a big NO.
If we take the Brisbane River as an example,  Australian Bass were in massive decline and almost gone from this system prior to restocking starting in the late 80s.

The causes are probably varied but I'll point a big finger at the weirs at Mt Crosby preventing migration both up & downstream breaking the bass' life cycle.

It would be fair to say that the vast majority of bass caught downstream of Mt Crosby Weir are hatchery bred & equally fair to say that 100% of the bass above Mt Crosby are also hatchery bred as bass cannot get upstream over the barrier.

Qld Fisheries recognise that the barriers caused by dams warrants the removal of the closed season as the bass are hatchery bred AND that the bass stocked are payed for by the general public or by Govt to provide a recreation fishery, hence the exemption of dams from the closed season. Bass in Qld are not, and to the best of my knowlege have never been stocked for conservation or as a recovery program.

So again I ask; why have a closed season on Australian bass that are hatchery bred?

* Unknown genetics of stocked bass
* Proven that bass readily go downstream of dams/barriers in floods & even move into other river systems
* bass are stocked for recreational fishing, not conservation - using money for rec fishing

Why have public mones used to stock fish when the fish is "out of bounds" for 25% of the year?
Why is there a difference between a dam & a weir that doesn't have a suitable fishway?

I recon the closed season needs an urgent review. IMHO stocked bass are a real threat to our wild stocks & in a perfect world they wouldn't go AWOL over dams/weirs, but they do.

So what do you think?



Note* You need to vite to see the results of the poll



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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 04:19:44 AM »
I think the horse has already bolted in regards to trying to save the Bass's pure genetics. No point in shutting the gate now. Keep the regulations as they are would be my first thoughts, unless someone can give a really good reason to change my mind.

It would be too difficult to police and too difficult to be mindful where and when to fish if the rules and regulations were scattered.

Cheers Dave

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 06:42:12 AM »
I can't see how it would be too difficult to police.  With the absolutely pitiful number of Fisheries Inspectors now there would be no bloody difference.  I've fished the Brisbane River for more years than most, and I've never seen an inspector.  I think I saw one once on Somerset.  What difficulty would there be in changing the line from the wall at Lake Wivenhoe, to the Weir at Mt. Crosby.  On a larger scale, why not protect all Bass in the Noosa River, although even that is marginal, with a large hatchery operating on the banks I'm sure there have been plenty of accidental stockings into there, and open the other areas.  As I've said before, I doubt that there is a true wild Bass left in Queensland waters, apart from maybe the Noosa.  We've seen how they can travel when lakes overflow.  Having a closed season in the Pine River system is a complete joke, the same as the Brisbane and the Bremer and the Coomera and the Nerang, not to forget the Logan and Albert. 
My vote is for the abolition of a closed season across the board, unless Fisheries can prove that the current system helps in the protection of true wild strain Australian Bass.

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2012, 09:14:01 AM »
In a perfect world all of those lake bass would die when they went over the dam walls & therefore potentially not introduce piss poor genetics into the wild fish. We don't want to end up with ruined wild fisheries like they did in America and their wild fish lost the ability to breed due to a denuded gene pool, fish stocking is a dangerous thing if done wrong and we have no genetic controls or QA process here. (same mistakes they made)

I vote for removal of bass closed season above first weir on system, as opposed to the first dam which is the current setup. A barrier is a barrier.

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2012, 09:20:02 AM »
Im undecided on the topic tho Dale you make some good points... The wild population would be so diluted by now with stocked bass that i think has reached the point of no return. With the amount of bass being stocked along the eastern coast of australia do wild bass even need to breed ? were dams supposed to become self stocking ? I think man has played god a little too much now cant go back... As for the closed season buisness am still undecided what way to go seems best, maybe a look into future plans would help with that decision all round.

Steve

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2012, 08:14:39 PM »
Anywhere that fish are stocked should have no closed season for the stocked fish.

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2012, 02:54:40 PM »
Interesting result thus far in the poll and some interesting replies posted. I voted other as none of the options exept the" yes a review is needed to identify those barriers and remove as needed." were close. The only barriers which come under that catagory would be Mt. Crosby and Luscombe IMHO. Luscombe should be totaly removed period and Mt. Crosby should have a functioning fishway fitted period.

The ideal closed season legislation for Bass IMHO

Closed season for Bass in all waters south of the Noosa River with the exeption of those impoundments listed plus the addition of Lake Kurwongbah from May 1 to July 31.
Bass No Take in the Noosa catchment and not allowed to be stocked in the catchment.

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 06:01:36 AM »
Interesting result thus far in the poll and some interesting replies posted. I voted other as none of the options exept the" yes a review is needed to identify those barriers and remove as needed." were close. The only barriers which come under that catagory would be Mt. Crosby and Luscombe IMHO. Luscombe should be totaly removed period and Mt. Crosby should have a functioning fishway fitted period.

The ideal closed season legislation for Bass IMHO

Closed season for Bass in all waters south of the Noosa River with the exeption of those impoundments listed plus the addition of Lake Kurwongbah from May 1 to July 31.
Bass No Take in the Noosa catchment and not allowed to be stocked in the catchment.

pretty much sums up my thoughts as well

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 11:44:44 AM »
The only barriers which come under that catagory would be Mt. Crosby and Luscombe IMHO. Luscombe should be totaly removed period and Mt. Crosby should have a functioning fishway fitted period.

What about above Teddington Weir on the Mary & all those weirs on the Burnett River system?
While on that, should there be a closed season on those systems like the Burnett, Isis, Gregory, Kolan etc where bass have been introduced to? IMHO until we get some across industry genetic variance guarantees in place for stocking / restocking, I dread the thought of brother & sister bass breeding....

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 12:18:12 PM »
What about above Teddington Weir on the Mary & all those weirs on the Burnett River system?
While on that, should there be a closed season on those systems like the Burnett, Isis, Gregory, Kolan etc where bass have been introduced to? IMHO until we get some across industry genetic variance guarantees in place for stocking / restocking, I dread the thought of brother & sister bass breeding....

Though drawing a line on a map and considering it a natural boundary is anthropocentric nature tends to ignore such boundaries.
My closed season proposal although drawing such a line at the Noosa is something that I gave a great deal of thought to, north of the Noosa pre human interference Bass were not at all common found in small numbers in some of the Hervey Bay/Tin Can Bay catchments and on Fraser Island. Therefore there should be NO closed season north of the Noosa. Fraser is a National Park and the Tin Can Bay creeks upper salt and brackish areas are virtually all green zones now which should provide sufficient protection, though whatever (if any) within-population variability of the original gene pool of these fish would most likely have been affected by the the number of entrained stocked fish now present from the Mary and Burrum catchments.

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 03:42:39 PM »
"IMHO until we get some across industry genetic variance guarantees in place for stocking / restocking, I dread the thought of brother & sister bass breeding..."
Which boils down to the ethics of the fish breeders and the diligence of the purchasing officers of the various stocking assns..
How many breeders source their brood stock by running a gill net in the same dams year after year?
Anyhow is this actually bad practice as do not the "wild"fish not interbreed in the same river.
I think that most breeders change their brood stock every 2 years at least with the only exception being MRC which are near impossible to obtain
Cheers
Ray

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 04:23:17 PM »
Sorry, I can see absolutely no reason why anyone would want to protect the Bass currently swimming around any river from Caboolture to the border.  Any Stocking Association that thinks it is doing ecological good in these river systems is deluding itself.  If any wild Bass existed in any river south of Caboolture, and if (and this is a dirty big if) they do actually breed in these waters, they have been compromised by the fish which have regularly entered the rivers from the Stocked Impoundments upstream.  Human interference has destroyed the natural habitat, and at best we (Stocking Groups) are building an un-natural population of fish purely for recreational fishing.  Why then, should we inhibit access for no apparent reason?

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 04:49:08 PM »
"Do we want stocked Bass to spawn ?"
The bottom line is if they can and get the opportunity to they will, and most likely have been in ever increasing numbers since cultured stocked fish entrained from the impoundments they were stocked in there is nothing that can be done about it. The effects of this on the genetic diversity of Bass both within-populations and among-population in SEQ is not only unknown but will never be known. Myself I take the optimistic view that there are sufficient numbers out there and despite the most likely genetic bottlenecking of local populations within-population variability natural selection will take its course. The recent flood events which have provided considerable data on the movements of fish between catchments simply prove that this has always occured and contributed to among-population variability.

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Re: Bass Closed Season and Stocked Waters
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 06:54:04 AM »
Breeders were required to use multiple females last year to produce a batch of fingerlings, (maybe further back, dont know) Bill was telling me it was causing him all sorts of pain doing so, as it resulted in to much variation in size of fingerlings.

I'm not to worried about it, bass as a native species have pretty much been shot in most waterways for a long time. I doubt there were any wild populations left down stream of the stocked impoundments.

Mother nature will soon enough get to work on the genetics of the escaped fish.

 

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