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Author Topic: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?  (Read 19627 times)

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2014, 01:39:28 PM »
What tributary elops - not 6 mile or Obi Obi I hope ?

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 09:15:28 PM »
If anyone reading this catches a Sooty Grunter in the Mary River ,please please please kill it. I couldn't believe it when talking to a bloke at Noosa a couple of weeks back reckons he releases them all because they're great fun to catch. A narrow minded, short sighted fool in my oppionion. Sooties are feral cats outside of their own range.

Sooties in the Mary could well be the last nail in the coffin of Mary River Cod. Once they're gone, they're gone. Ask any Thylacine....

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 10:52:56 AM »
No another creek Jim. Private property with some very proactive adjoining landowners, sadly both caught right in the middle of a couple of nesting sites that are well guarded with no access. Killed and eaten along with a couple of Bass and Spangled Perch on the day, landowner rates them better than Bass but not as good as Spangles.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2014, 06:34:35 AM »
On the topic of introduced northerners posing a threat to young Mary cod - I have noticed a lot of saratoga in the Mary over the last few years, to the extent that I would say it is the most common fish I see from the banks in many of the deep pools in the middle reaches.   I would like to encourage anyone who catches this alien (to the Mary) to please please please NOT return them to the river.   My major concern is that I suspect these critters to be pretty efficient hunters of young Mary River Turtle hatchlings, and I see them hanging around in the deep pools near turtle nesting sandbanks.  Because they hang around near the surface, I often photograph them on the monitoring cameras we use to study Mary River Turtle.

I'd also like to reinforce the idea that there is nothing skilful about "anglers"pulling a craqnky male cod out from under his log or off the nest during breeding season.  I reckon they would attack a sandshoe on a bit of rope.  While our fishing heroes get a few trophy photos with their big cod, the poor bugger is stressed out by being pulled out of the water weekend after weekend (same fish, same log), all the time leaving the eggs unprotected, and eventually karking it from chronic stress.  I wish people would leave the remnant wild population alone in the river, and only target them in stocked impoundments.  I think that in the Mary it is much more heroic to target grunter and 'toga, and NOT return them to the river.  You still get very good skilful fishing, AND you a doing a favour to some of the really special critters that only exist in the Mary system.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 02:32:38 PM »
Well said Jim.  It is good to see fellas like you Dale Steve and Elops  keeping an eye on problems like this.

I tried to make a project out of the MRC several years ago to no avail.

Must admit my experience is limited but, what I did notice in the sum of it all is that there is very likely only one stream where they are definitely breeding and 'maybe' 3 others that you could compare to Russian Roulette when it comes to introduced species chewing them up.

And fellas that's it on planet earth, bit scary hey.

Keep up the good work.

Gordon

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2014, 11:47:15 AM »
Spent a bit of time recently in the catchment Jim here is a grab bag of Sooty info.
Tom got 20 odd fish electrofishing at Tiaro 20cm to 50 cm recently.
First one from Lake Macdonald around 2004 with several from below the wall during fish salvages since and caught and released in 6 mile in the last couple of years.
Most interesting was several people told me that a hatchery was advertising fingerlings for sale in the local paper ........................................ 

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2014, 12:36:47 PM »
Thanks for the info Steve, any word of small juveniles / sub adults?

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2014, 11:43:19 AM »
The 20 cm fish would be sub adult you would think, given the amount of time they have been there ? DNA otolith microchemical analysis study maybe ? no real point.
Another population of non indigenous Grunters that is most likely established courtesy of Terapontids R Us.



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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2014, 11:57:03 AM »
Maybe, the optimist in me thinks that breeding pop would include many more little guys less than and up to 100mm based on my electrofishing experience in sooty country - 200mm fish could be this year's stocking especially if fingerlings are being aggressively marketed into the basin - Jim

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2014, 08:35:10 PM »
I'm going to add my twenty cents worth here. While I agree completely with everyone that they don't belong in the Mary, and having just come back from the Burdekin where they do belong, they are an extremely aggressive fish, and yes they can decimate the cod population, but...... before we go out and start slaughtering them be aware at this point if you kill an undersized sooty or exceed the bag limit, you could be fined under the fisheries act, because at the moment there is nothing in the fisheries legislation requiring their removal from the Mary. As I said they are a threat to the cod population, but we only have ourselves to blame, it was man that reduced their population and destroyed their habitat in the first place, and it is mans influence in changing the river that it is now more a suitable habitat for sooty's than cod! Cod need deep holes etc, where sooty's thrive in the shallow runs that are common along the Mary. Not to mention that we are still legally through this current translocation policy stocking other species that don't belong in the Mary as well. Golden perch, Saratoga, Silver perch to name a few. While these species aren't as agressive as the sooty, they do compete with cod food and habitat, which as we know the cod are short on. I am especially worried about the numbers of Bass that are turning up in Obi Obi creek and Six Mile from the dams upstream, wouldn't these be having an impact on the remaining wild population of cod in these creeks? My point is yes while the sooty is an imediate threat, so are the other one's I have mentioned, probably more so at this point.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2014, 09:37:19 PM »
Cod have evolved in conjunction with all the other species you mentioned except Saratoga - and they're more a specialist surface feeder and less aggressive generalist predator than sooties - while translocation of all natives out of their range is a worry full stop, - I still feel sooties (from an ecological science basis) have the greatest prospect of doing harm - and it would be a brave or ill informed fisheries officer who prosecuted anyone for knocking undersize sooties on the head - so bring on a test case if need be anybody....??

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2014, 11:57:30 PM »
Like I said, I do agree with all that Sooty's shouldn't be there, as for Mary river cod evolving with the other species, they have only evolved with Bass, not golden or silver perch, that is Murray cod, which may seem like splitting hairs, but Murray Cod seem a lot more resilient than the Mary Cod, just ask the one's trying to breed them. It may be that Murray being a larger system, which is a guess as I'm not a biologist.
Mary River Cod, are as we will all agree struggling as it is, with out having to compete with other species. I'm not suggesting that we get rid of the others, as I'm sure there would be a lynching party outside my house if I did. What I was trying to say is there are a lot more problems for the cod as in habitat destruction,  and fishing pressure than the Sooty Grunter. I was just amazed at how many forums are being devoted to it. Pity there wasn't as much of a commotion about the state of the river, and moves to do something about it. I grew up in Tinana on the Mary, so I have a special interest in all this, and am thrilled to see the diversity in the freshwater fishing that there is in the Mary now! Baroon Pocket dam was built right across some of the cods prime breeding ground, and it barely raised an eyebrow.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2014, 12:15:01 AM »
A fishing competition has just started showing up on the internet and it is running a round in the Mary River  :'(
I will not put it's name up here as I don't wish to promote it,imho there should be no comps run in the Mary River.


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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2014, 12:29:13 AM »
I agree, leave the comps in the Dams where they belong. It would be a nightmare to regulate anyway. As there are limited access points, and limited how many could effectivly fish a section of river...... A logistical nightmare!

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2014, 07:44:30 AM »
Pills,

When I said cod evolved in the company of silvers and goldens (& bass) - I was being generic - as Eastern and Mary cod are relative Johnny come latelys (~1 million years?) in terms of evolution and the basic family traits e.g. life history strategies, reproduction, fercundity etc were set up long before they went east over the range - and these life history strategies have been shown in evolutionary time to cope with these other Percichthyid (family) predators but not too many pugnacious  grunter (terapontidae)  species -  the only ones being silvers and spanglies (historically only in the northern most Murray Darling Basin).

BTW people have been concerned about the state of the Mary River for years - it was where Integrated Catchment Management was developed in Qld in teh early 1990's and there have been numerous projects dedicated to improving its state and the status of Cod (as you would no doubt be aware) - the cod has long been the mascot of the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee (MRCCC) - and there has been some recent evidence of gains being made interms of Cod numbers in the main Mary Channel and known sub catchment refugia - none of this is going to be helped by the establishment of self breeding populations of an extremely pugnacious novel predator like sooties - while other environmental pressures can ultimately be fixed of managed - the threat posed by an established population of feral predators is permanent - history would suggest.

When you say your thrilled by the freshwater fishing opportunities now available in the Mary I assume that also includes the sooties? Maybe this is part of your desire to place the threat posed by them in a less serious context than the ones they face from other sources??

 

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