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  • Waterways and Impoundments Requested to be Exempt of the Bass Closed Season 5 1

Author Topic: Waterways and Impoundments Requested to be Exempt of the Bass Closed Season  (Read 4203 times)

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G'day all,

Due to recent events I have been overwhelmed by emails and personal messages regarding the issue of Ewen Maddock Dam to be exempt in "targeting" Australian Bass within the closed season. For those who are unaware, it is an offence to "target" Australian Bass within Ewen Maddock Dam from the 1st of June to the 31st of September. However it is not an offence to "target" other species such as Spangled Perch, Silver Perch, Golden Perch and Saratoga within the lake.

Last year, as many of you very well know, stocking groups of the south-east Queensland held a workshop at Fernvale with officials from DEEDI, now DAFF. They were to review this matter along with many other issues after that workshop meeting. After answering many emails last night, I again sent a letter of email with minutes attached from that workshop meeting for changes to be made, to make EMD exempt of this closed season to governing officials. By doing so, I Cc'd other parties from other stocking groups in my letter of email. This created a snow ball effect to which 6 other bodies of water were also put forward by these stocking groups, also to be reviewed to be exempt from officials of DAFF.

The waterways and impoundments of interest for exemption include,

- Ewen Maddock Dam
- Brisbane River upstream of Mt Crosby Weir
- Albert River upstream of Luscombe Weir
- Lake Kurwongbah / Sideling Creek Dam
- Caboolture River above weir
- Wyaralong Dam
- Burnett River above Paradise Dam

These waterways and impoundments are partly fish stocked with public monies as part of a Recreational Fishing Enhancement Program. Fish stocked in these waterways and impoundments are grown as Put & Take fisheries. A closed season restricts recreational anglers of fishing these areas subject to the closed season 25% of the year. This has an impact on the stocking groups viability in stocking these waterways and impoundments, it also consitutes more effort for enforcement during the closed season and it also has an impact on small business’ who rely on tourist anglers visiting these areas.

If you too would like these bodies of water exempt of "targeting" Australian Bass within the closed season, I'm sure the relative stocking groups would appreciate your support.

I'll let you know asap of any updates.

Thanks Dave



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Is Atkinsons stocked with Bass ?
If it is another impoundment which has been overlooked.

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Has atkinsons been restocked at all after the drought? I believe that the pelicans cleaned everything up.
Cheers
Ray

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Atkinsons in not on the SIP Scheme.  It does come under the umbrella of SWFSA, along with the Bremer River and Lockyer Creek.  It has not been stocked with Bass in the past but it now can be.  There are minimal funds available for this.  In the past it has been stocked with Silver Perch, Golden Perch and Saratoga and there are still fish in there.  It is difficult to promote as a recreational fishery with the small surface area and large contingent of skiers.

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Thanks Dale,
Atkinsons has been on my mean to do in winter (surely there would be less lake lice active in the cooler months) list for a while.

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Jet skiers in wetsuits

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Is Atkinsons stocked with Bass ?
If it is another impoundment which has been overlooked.

No bass have ever offically been stocked into Atkinson's Lagoon (Atkinson's Dam), also no Golden Perch, Silver Perch, MRCs..... only ever been stocked with Southern Saratoga however (as basser mentioned) the other species mentioned are now on stocking permit for Akky Dam.

I can't see Akky getting any meaningful fish restocking going forward until Qld Fisheries do something about the way the RFEP funds are distributed or Akky is put on the SIP, and from what is being bandied about, you can put any old unproven puddle on the SIP  ::)   

Until then, it's a lake lice dam until toga numbers pick up on their own.

Cheers,

fitz..

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Seriously, this issue & the way the regs are written is laughable.

Bass are one of the most heavily regulated recreational species in Qld.
Size limit - minimum size
Bag limit - 2 only
Closed season - 25% of the year

Let's look at it; here is what is written on Qld Fisheries website:

Quote
A closed season applies to Australian bass throughout Queensland from 1 June to 31 August except in and from waterways upstream of Baroon Pocket, Bjelke-Petersen, Boondooma, Borumba, Cania, Cressbrook, Fred Haigh (Lake Monduran), Gordonbrook, Hinze, Lenthalls, Maroon, Moogerah, North Pine, Somerset, Wuruma and Wivenhoe dams; Claude Wharton and Jones weirs; Isis Balancing Storage (Lake Gregory) and Clarendon, Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam) and MacDonald lakes.

Seriously, why list Somerset & Cressbrook? These are upstream of Wivenhoe...... silly really.

Why NOT just change the wording to something like:
A closed season applies to Australian bass throughout Queensland from 1 June to 31 August except in and from waterways upstream of the first man made barrier that does not have an adequate fishway.
If it is desirable to name specific locations, name the bloody of them icluding Little Nerang, Atkinsons, Leslie Harrison, Wappa, Cooloolabin, Mt Crosby Weir, Luscombe Weir, Caboolture Weir, Mooloolah Weir, Teddington Weir etc etc etc

AND, since bass north of the Noosa (but will say the Mary just for giggles) are more than likely either vagrants or stocked fish, exclude all waters north of the Mary, eg Burrum, Burnett, Kolan, Gregory, Isis Rivers etc.

AND, the dates are probably a month too late...the water temps are already dropping by April & the days shortening....spawning is quite possibly well underway by the time the current season closes. FAIL

So, I would think that more appropriate wording would be along the lines of...
A closed season applies to Australian bass in all waters south of, and including the Mary River from 1 April to 31 July except in and from waterways upstream of the first man made barrier that does not have an adequate fishway. These include the following barriers: Baroon Pocket Dam, Borumba Dam, Hinze Dam (Lake Advancetown), Maroon Dam, Moogerah Dam, North Pine Dam (Lake Samsonvale), Lake MacDonald, Leslie Harrison Dam, Gold Creek Reservoir, Enoggera Reservoir, Sideling Creek Dam (Lake Kurwongbah), Wappa Dam, Mt Crosby Weir, Caboolture Weir,  Luscombe Weir [add any barriers on eastern flowing waters I've missed between Maryborough and the border].............

To make it idiot proof those proxy barriers further upstream of another barrier listed above could also be named; Somerset Dam, Cressbrook Dam , Cooloolabin Dam, Wivenhoe Dam, Lake Clarendon, Lake Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam), Atkinsons Dam, Seven Mile Lagoon, Lake Manchester, O'Rielly's Weir etc..... 

This will effectively protect spawning bass in waters they are indigenous to and that are capable of offering suitable conditions for spawning/recruitment. Isn't that what the closed season it attempting to do? I'm all for protecting wild bass stocks, but is this what is currently being done by the current regs? I don't think so.

IMHO the regs weren't written with any foresight in the first instance. Why has this not been reviewed/fixed when people from every side agree the regs are inadequate in the current form, and what is being done to address the issue now / on-going?

My thoughts any way.......

fitz..

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Just to give you all an update on the progression of the above matter. I recently sent a letter to my state member Mr Mark McArdle who is the Minister of Energy and Water Utilities to make him aware of the issue at state, not just for Ewen Maddock Dam to be exempt, but for the above water bodies mentioned. I'm yet to get a response, however if you'd like to fish the above waterways and impoundments 100% of the year, I'd encourage for you to also write a similar letter to your state member.

If it is ok with Fitzy, I'd like to post my letter which I wrote to the minister on this thread, so that those who are fare dinkum in getting these regulations changed can use it as a draft to write their own letter.

Before we know it, another year will have past and the same regulations will be in place and the same comments and posts on threads relating to the Bass closed season will be placed up here again on Sweetwater unless something is done. Members of Ewen Maddock Fish Management Inc. work extremely hard like other stocking groups so that anglers can have full access to fresh water recreational fishing within the bodies of water that we stock. Having a closed season of 25% of the year in these bodies of water and impoundments mentioned above is ludicrous.

From liasing with DAFF officials, I believe we have their support on this matter. It's my understanding that bureaucratic paperwork seems to be a hindrance to passing this regulation from others higher above in government. A lodgement has submitted for Ewen Maddocks exemption, however who knows how long this will take to be approved.

Remembering that politicians are public servants, voted in by us to act on our behalf. Read this post and do nothing and nothing will change or read this and actively do something to acheive changes needed, will hopefully result in a good outcome for the above fisheries.

It's up to you, if you want change!!!

Cheers Dave

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Post your letter up Dave.  :thumb

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EWEN MADDOCK FISH MANAGEMENT INC.   
David Brace (President)                                                           
E: president@ewenmaddock.com.au

25th July 2012

Dear Mr Mark McArdle (MP),

I’d like to bring a matter to your attention where EMFMI has been liaising with officials of the Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) for the past 12 months in regards having Ewen Maddock Dam exempt to the Australian Bass closed season. DAFF officials hosted a Fish Stocking Workshop Meeting at Fernvale on the 4th of June 2011 last year to which this matter was bought to their attention to be acted upon in a timely matter.

Liaising with DAFF officials through the duration of these past months, I have been informed that they have submitted Regulatory Impact Statements on a number of occasions to have Ewen Maddock Dam added to the long list of impoundments that are exempt of this closed season. These statements were suppressed by those with higher authority, before and after the new state government, secured power. DAFF officials agree that Ewen Maddock Dam along with some other water bodies in the region have no reason why they too, shouldn’t be exempt of this closed season, however bureaucratic paperwork seems to be a hindrance to passing this regulation.

Australian Bass within Ewen Maddock Dam are constrained to spawning within its body of water, as these fish need brackish water to breed and complete their life cycle; therefore, vulnerability impact, if at all, is extremely minimal within the waters of Ewen Maddock Dam. There are many impoundments within south-east Queensland, which are exempt to this closed season yet Ewen Maddock Dam, has been overlooked. EMFMI would also like Ewen Maddock Dam to be included in this list of impoundments to also be exempt from “targeting” Australian Bass, within and upstream of the lake through the duration of the Australian Bass closed season. There are a number of other bodies of water and impoundments that also need to be added to this list including, Brisbane River upstream of Mt Crosby Weir, Albert River upstream of Luscombe Weir, Lake Kurwongbah / Sideling Creek Dam, Caboolture River above the weir, Wyaralong Dam and the Burnett River above Paradise Dam.

In fact, as waters north of the Noosa/Mary River systems are deemed to be only marginally populated (if at all) with genuine wild Australian Bass it would be fair to assume that most Australian Bass in the Gregory, Burnett, Kolan systems etc. are vagrant or stocked. Therefore these waters should also be exempt from the closed season.

These waterways and impoundments are stocked with fish, partly with public monies from the Recreational Fishing Enhancement Program and the Stocked Impoundment Program. Please understand that fish stocked in these waterways and impoundments are grown as put &take fisheries, for recreational anglers and to benefit the ecology of the environment to which they live. A closed season restricts recreational anglers of fishing these areas subject to the closed season 25% of the year. This has an impact on the fish stocking group’s viability in stocking these waterways and impoundments, it constitutes more effort for enforcement during the closed season and it also has a huge impact on small business’ that rely on tourist anglers visiting these areas. I strongly feel that it is highly undesirable for the general public to be restricted from fishing these waters for 25% of the year, when Australian Bass have been stocked within these waters mentioned above with public monies.

The following quote is from the DAFF website page. http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/28_3030.htm

Why do we have closed seasons?

Closed seasons 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 except in and from waterways upstream of Baroon Pocket, Bjelke-Petersen, Boondooma, Borumba, Cania, Cressbrook, Fred Haigh (Lake Monduran), Gordonbrook, Hinze, Lenthalls, Maroon, Moogerah, North Pine, Somerset, Wuruma and Wivenhoe dams; Claude Wharton and Jones weirs; Isis Balancing Storage (Lake Gregory) and Clarendon, Dyer (Bill Gunn Dam) and MacDonald lakes.

I also ask that a change of the regulations is undertaken with some urgency to allow genuine value for money for the general public who have paid for Australian Bass to be stocked under the Recreational Fishing Enhancement Program and Stocked Impoundment Program to allow recreational anglers to target and take Australian Bass year round, in the locations noted above (within current size & bag limits).

Please, feel free to peruse EMFMI's website via this link www.ewenmaddock.com.au , to view the group’s mission statement, minutes of meetings and our past activities as we strive forward to better recreational activities within the region and the fisheries of Ewen Maddock Dam and Baroon Pocket Dam.

I look forward to your response & action.

Kind regards

David Brace

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 "A closed season applies to Australian bass in all waters south of, and including the Mary River from 1 April to 31 July except in and from waterways upstream of the first man made barrier that does not have an adequate fishway."

 Fitzy, if they printed that clause, it would be tantamount to the government admitting they were not concerned with improving the lot of our little bronze Aussie battler. Or any other recreational and occasional commercial species for that matter.

Won't hijack this post any further.

Keep up the pressure guys  :yourock

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Dave
Thanks for running with this. About 3 months ago I tried to get one of the stocking groups that I am a member of to also progress this matter and the general consensus of the meeting was that it was all in hand as a result to the Fernvale  meeting and to leave the matter alone.
 Hopefully armed with additional info they will relook at the issue.
Cheers
Ray

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There is no doubt that the stocked impoundments not currently exempt should be.
Mary and all streams north only contain stocked Bass that are NOT indiginous and should be exempt.
The current situation of Mt. Crosby and Luscombe give some merit to opening them up. More important would be the fitting of a functioning fishway on Mt. Crosby and the removal of Luscombe which is long overdue.  Easily done at considerably less cost than the fishlifts fitted to the recent impoundments built and opening up a large percentage of both systems to all catadromous and amphidromous fish.

 

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