Fish Stocking needed for Lake Wivenhoe
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
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
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
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