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Author Topic: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?  (Read 21245 times)

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2014, 11:08:44 PM »
No I don't include Sooty's,  even though thy are a fun fish to catch, I would rather see a river full of Mary river Cod. I regularly head up to Townsville to visit mum, and can catch all the sooty's I want. Had a ball recently on the Burdekin, on a kayak trip with a mate that lives up there.
As I said I grew up in Tinana. My house backed onto the Mary, and there wasn't the diversity of freshwater fishing then back in the early 70's that there is today. Bass were virtually non existant back then, as were Cod. Barra occasionally turned up, but when they did, the pros came in and netted the lot.
As with most feral fish, if they do, or are established, then they are probably here to stay. Fisheries should probably put them on the feral species list in the Mary so we can legally remove them.
Apologies to anyone I insulted about the state of the river, as it a lot better than it was back in the 70's, but it still has a long way to go. My point was that the river is a perfect habitat for the Sooty at this point, due to it's relative shallow nature. Hopefully the river restoration will continue and the river can be restored to it's original beauty.
The plight of our Cod is a struggle on so many levels, with the failure of the breading stock this season due to a virus, and with the rednecks still out there chasing the few wild breeding stocks left, it is daunting to say the least.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2014, 07:30:15 PM »
Sad news today - confirmed large Tilapia taken from the Mary River near Tiaro.  There was a report of a small Tilapia caught in Yabba Creek a few years ago but this  is the worst news I've heard for the Mary for a while.  Probably worth a new thread, because I reckon that we need to spread the word and find out if anyone else has picked up Tilapia in the Mary, and get some idea of the scope of the problem.  Jim Tait - I reckon this puts our worries about Sooties and Toga in the Mary into perspective.  What's worse  this fish was photographed and returned to the river in ignorance.  Could all the good people on this forum who want to do a favour for the Mary make sure that they and all their friends know what these ferals look like, and if they catch one, remove it from the river and report the incident to fisheries http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/fisheries/pest-fish/report-a-pest-fish-sighting

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2014, 05:30:42 AM »
Sad news Steve, but I feel ecologically that sooties as a pugnacious exotic (NB if we were in Europe there'd be three countries between the Mary and where sooties belong) predator may ultimately do more damage if established - Jim

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2014, 07:18:13 AM »
Jim,  I'm in total agreement with you about Sooties and Togas in the Mary.  Just overwhelmingly disappointed with the additional news about Tilapia.  Especially bad news for the last remaining freshwater mullet in the Mary  I reckon.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2014, 08:38:20 PM »
At least no Barred Grunter from Terapontids R US.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2014, 10:30:11 AM »
There is also the cumulative effect over 15 years or so of ever increasing entrainments of Bass...................... a pugnacious exotic ?????????????

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2014, 01:00:30 PM »
There is also the cumulative effect over 15 years or so of ever increasing entrainments of Bass...................... a pugnacious exotic ?????????????

Yeah but Steve, larger Marys LOVE eating Bass.

What's more detrimental, predation of young Marys by Bass? Or lack of larger finned fish for the adult Mary's to eat?


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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2014, 10:52:50 AM »
Cant answer that question Dave. 

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2014, 09:28:18 PM »
Unfortunately the discovery of Tilapia in the mary will make the sooty problem pale in comparison! I have seen the water in the Ross River in Townsville black with schools of them. While the Barra up there grow fat on them, I don't think the Cod at this stage of their recovery could keep them in check. As far as Cod and Bass. They have lived in harmony for eons, I think it is more a case of balance, which nature seems to do well with. Unfortunately, with past habitat distruction and over fishing in the last century, has seen that balance upset if not destroyed!

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2014, 10:29:23 PM »
Don't agree, not a fan of tilapia but don't think their fish community impacts in the Mary will be as great as Sootys becoming established - name one native species that has disappeared out of Ross River (or any other Australian river system) due to tilapia ??? I think Sootys established south of their range have a greater potential to push local fish species out especially juvenile cod and others e.g soft spined rainbows, pygmy perch - probably won't do juvenile lungfish any favours as well.....  we'll see, for my money more song and dance should be made about the sooties than the tilapia...

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2014, 07:50:44 PM »
Don't agree, not a fan of tilapia but don't think their fish community impacts in the Mary will be as great as Sootys becoming established - name one native species that has disappeared out of Ross River (or any other Australian river system) due to tilapia ??? I think Sootys established south of their range have a greater potential to push local fish species out especially juvenile cod and others e.g soft spined rainbows, pygmy perch - probably won't do juvenile lungfish any favours as well.....  we'll see, for my money more song and dance should be made about the sooties than the tilapia...

totally agree with you Jim. Sooty Grunter are a super agressive species, tilapia often seem quite inert by comparison from my observations.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2014, 10:21:02 PM »
And to see people releasing Sooty Grunter that have been caught in the Mary River shows poor judgement, lack of knowledge or just a blatant disregard for the river system & the future chances of Mary River cod and possibly Qld Lungfish as well.

See the video below by Jon Williams releasing Sooty Grunter as just one example.
All sooty grunter caught in the Mary River system should be destroyed.

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2014, 11:14:24 PM »
Would love to know where that is

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2014, 06:28:59 AM »
Maybe it's time for a sooty hunt

I'm free next weekend

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Re: Sooties in the Mary - what prospects for Mary River Cod Recovery...?
« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2015, 07:19:25 AM »
Just read this very interesting post and have to agree with Jim that Sooties in the Mary are not a happy situation.

I am unaware of the feeding habits or territorial behaviour of Tilapia , but do know that Saratoga [both species] predominantly feed in the upper water column. Sooties actively feed within all levels of a water column , from the surface to the rocks/gravel/timber below.

A loooong time ago l was an avid aquarist , having kept at various times 5 large fish [saratoga , barra , bass , cod , sooty] , and breeding [with permit] some rare smaller natives which were released back into the wild. To say that Sooties are 'aggressive' is rather an understatement. l fed the larger fish , yabbies , freshwater shrimp , prawns , pilchard pieces , ox heart , pellets and goldfish. Whilst the saratoga , Cod,Bass , Barra all have entertaining feeding babits , Sooties will literally 'smash' their prey against rocks/gravel/timber/glass without hesitation , the size of the prey being no issue whatsoever. A yabby hiding under a log , partially burrowed into sand/gravel , still had no chance of survival as l watched many times as the Sooty would lay on its side , fins paddking , as it dug out the yabby or just smashed it into the substrate.

Its worrying to think that people would intentionally release Sooties into the Mary , but what is done is done.

Maybe the state gov't can be lobbied to declare Sooties as noxious in the Mary system?

I have fished  rivers down south that once held strong populations of Macquarie Perch. Trout put paid to that decades ago.
Whilst l liked fishing for trout , l would have happily been throwing the fly/lure for Macquaries.

Maybe a 'coalition' of intersted parties could be formed to facilitate education/action/legislation to help deal with this issue?
[Native fish clubs , fishing clubs , habitat associations etc?]

Barney.


 

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