Home Locations & Maps Fish species Fishing Guides Products Accomodation
Australian Fishing Shop

Picture Gallery

Weather page & links

Fishing Competition Calender

Articles & information

Fishing Rules & Regs

Fish Stocking

Chat Page





Increased Fish Stocking needed for Lake Wivenhoe

With the recently publicized closure of some recreational areas at Lake Wivenhoe there remain some issues that need raising.
Now these closures appear to be a forgone conclusion but what about the right of anglers to access that, which was (but appears to not be anymore) a public utility.
Fine, if these closures must go ahead then isn't it fair that anglers be compensated for the restricted access by those that imposed the restriction.
The best way of doing this is to up the ante in regard to numbers of fish stocked by the SEQWCorp.
In previous years the old SEQWB has spent in the order of $35 000 - $40 000/annum on fish stocking for Lakes Somerset, Wivenhoe and Samsonvale as part of their responsibility toward recreation.
This fish stocking has added to the fishery that has been created by the hard working local fish stocking groups over the past ten or more years.
Now the new hierarchy have given a commitment to maintain this level of fish stocking for the next three years, but after that…….
Now to be fair to anglers, this current level should not only be maintained indefinitely, but at least doubled to give everyone the same chance of catching a fish as before.
Now it's not only the water corp that is responsible for this, the state government has their hands well and truly dirty here.
It was our state pollies that allowed this situation to develop in the first place, by incorporatising the old SEQWB, they have effectively stopped any say in the new body's policies.
With the current problem of noxious, introduced and pest species of fish rife at Lake Wivenhoe, the only two options open at this stage are to let anglers catch and kill these fish or to stock large numbers of native predator fish, namely bass and cod.
Even these fish may not be up to the task on bowling over the likes of tilapia, banded grunter and fork-tailed catfish.
What is possibly needed are BIG predators like barramundi and mangrove jack to knock these fish over.
But like the Maginot Line, the stocking of barramundi into SE Qld is not allowed after someone drew a line across the map around Maryborough that barra aren't allowed to cross.
Those that say barra cannot handle the cooler climate of SE Qld should have a fish around the southern Qld coast sometime, as the odd barra does get caught as far south as the Tweed R.
Even if barra cannot handle the cooler water at some locations, is it really going to hurt to give them a try?
Now here I was thinking that it was part of the role of our Primary Industries department to battle unwanted pest fish.
All that has happened to date is for our fisheries department to discuss things in committee, coming up with strategies and the like but with no real action taken.
Which is understandable I suppose, as there are no other options available or viable at this stage other than those of angler pressure and getting eaten by predator fish.
What is needed is more money to those that are trying their best with limited funds to come-up with a near impossible cure.
So why not assist the only options that are viable?
If the state government is responsible for the shamozzle at Lake Wivenhoe, then they should cough up some cold hard cash to alleviate the problem, in the form of more fish fingerlings.
Another thing to consider is the impact on the small communities and businesses that rely on the tourist buck to roll in from traveling anglers.
A tourism infrastructure that has been built up over a number of years is suddenly threatened because the SEQWCorp need to save $1 million from their annual budget.
This money is to be spent on improving water quality.
Now there is compelling evidence to suggest that the stocking of predator fish reduces blue/green algae by food web manipulation, where the big fish eat the smaller fish, and it is these smaller baitfish that prey on the micro-grazers that in turn eat the algae.
In a nutshell, the big predators keep the baitfish numbers down so the micro-grazers can do their job of eating algae.
So why not spend a few more dollars on fish and everyone is a winner.
I know for a fact that fish stocking groups bust their butts running competitions, art unions, chook raffles and the like, all to put fish on the water for everyone to enjoy.
Even with the extra money coming from the Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) our lakes still won't get stocked to their full potential.
What we enjoy today is only a fraction of how good our lakes can be.
Would those with their finger in the pie have anglers that buy a raffle ticket, enter a fishing comp and/or purchase a fishing permit bear the responsibility for water quality and removal of pest fish, noting that it is the government's responsibility for keeping these fish from entering our waters in the first place?
A bit more backup by government agencies would go a long way here me thinks.

Garry Fitzgerald.

An average lake Barramundi. They get much bigger than this!

Copyright© 2000 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia