Inland Fisheries Service News
IFS staff have been out and about checking Anglers Access infrastructure on northern rivers and completing maintenance as required. One area that needed some work was on the Lake River downstream from the Macquarie Road bridge. This area has a lot of long grass and in some areas hawthorn and gorse had overgrown stiles and signs that has now been cleared. Although growth in this area is still lush the persistent angler will be rewarded with some rarely fished pools at the extremes of this access. Steady low flows and good numbers of grasshoppers in the paddocks make for ideal conditions for the bait or fly angler.
During a routine check of access facilities, IFS staff recently removed five garbage bags of rubbish from numerous campsites around Lake Kara. Items included large amounts of nappies and human faecal matter as well as fishing line and bait packaging. The amount of rubbish left behind indicates this behaviour is not limited to just a few uncaring individuals and appears to unfortunately be widespread amongst anglers at this lake. The future of this potentially exciting fishery is firmly in the hands of the angling public. Please make sure you take your rubbish with you when you leave. If you see a littering offense being committed call the Litter Hotline on 1300 135 513 or fill in a report form on the EPA website http://epa.tas.gov.au/regulation/report-littering
The recent juvenile carp surveys conducted at Lake Crescent resulted in large, well-conditioned brown and rainbow trout being caught. Brown and rainbow trout up to 10 and 6 pound were caught along the marsh edges in small fyke nets. These trout were in top condition and well within the range of both land-based and boat fishermen looking to bag a trophy. With the trout season drawing to an end in one months’ time, now is the time to get out there to latch onto one of these monsters. Fish up to 8 kg in weight were seen earlier this year in another survey and the chances are that there are even bigger fish swimming about in this highly productive system. Lake Crescent is open an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset, and the use of artificial lures and flies are permitted. The minimum size limit is 220mm and a total maximum daily bag limit of 5 fish.
The annual juvenile carp surveys were undertaken over the past few weeks in Lake Crescent and Lake Sorell. These surveys are to determine whether any new recruitment had occurred over the past season, and as a result targets small juvenile carp. Small meshed fyke nets and backpack electrofishers were the two techniques used through-out the survey. The fyke nets were set in range of locations from shallow marsh areas to rocky shores to target habitat where spawning may have occurred, as well as suitable habitat for small juvenile carp to use as cover and feeding grounds. The survey in Lake Sorell was conducted over four nights and resulted in a few brown trout and eels caught, but thankfully no juvenile carp. In Lake Crescent the survey was conducted over three nights and no carp were detected, confirming that the lake is still carp free for the seventh year. A few eels, brown trout, and rainbow trout were caught throughout the survey.
Josh Hall from Rocherlea was the winner of the Junior angler prize draw for January. Josh was very happy to receive his prize pack. A junior licence holder (14-17 years of age) is drawn from the licence data base each month for the 2013/14 angling season.
On 25 March the Carp Management Team conducted the annual downstream survey of the Clyde River. The object of this exercise is to check that the river system below lakes' Crescent and Sorell remains carp-free. Sites were sampled using backpack electro-fishing gear around Hamilton and upstream and downstream of Bothwell. The river had a good flow due to recent rains. As well as the usual redfin perch and tench, the sampling revealed a healthy population of brown trout with one 100 metre stretch near Bothwell yielding 31 trout up to 400 grams in weight. No doubt there were larger fish in the deep pools, however, with the strong water flow these spots were inaccessible to our equipment. No carp were found.
A national delegation of Natural Resource Management Groups recently visited Tasmania to look at NRM projects in the state. During the visit, the large group stopped off at the Ramsar site at Lake Crescent where IFS and Carp team member Terry Byard, provided an overview of recent environmental work undertaken with the Derwent Catchment NRM group to protect the bio-diversity of the area. This included details of stock exclusion fencing, weed spraying and an update on progress with the removal of European carp from Lake Sorell.
Work has commenced on construction of the new boat ramp at Bradys Lake Whitewater. Funded by Marine And Safety Tasmania (MAST) Recreational Boating Fund and Hydro Tasmania with in-kind support from Central Highlands Council this project will deliver a dramatic improvement for boat launching at Bradys Lake, one of Tasmania’s most popular trout fisheries. Construction of the dual lane concrete ramp and floating pontoon system will compliment a similar facility completed at nearby Bronte Lagoon in 2012. Construction of the ramp is scheduled for the end of March with the pontoon system to be installed later in April.
Hydro Tasmania, Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) and the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) have joined forces to improve safety on the water for anglers. The three organisations have installed navigation lights at 30 of the state’s most popular fishing spots, managed by Hydro Tasmania. “Anglers had expressed concern about the lack of navigational aids on inland waters as the light fades during the evening,” said Hydro Tasmania’s Michael Bidwell. “Working with MAST and the IFS, we have installed solar-operated lights at boat ramps in remote fishing locations. The lights have a range of 5 nautical miles in clear conditions.” Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) said the project, managed by the Inland Fisheries Service, will greatly enhance safety on many inland lakes. “Many of the installation locations are in areas with little or no other landmarks, features or lights from shacks or roads to help with navigation,” said MAST’s Peter Hopkins. “These lights will help ensure the safety of those returning after dark by providing light near the boat ramp.” The project was funded by equal contributions from Hydro Tasmania and Marine and Safety Tasmania. Mr Bidwell said the project is part of a joint effort by Hydro Tasmania, MAST and the IFS to continually improve boating infrastructure on inland lakes. “Work will begin soon on a new double lane ramp and pontoon at Bradys Lake. This will complement work undertaken late in 2013 with the installation of a pontoon at Swan Bay on Great Lake and at the Dam Wall on Arthurs Lake.” A full list of new navigational light locations and grid references is available at www.ifs.tas.gov.au Lights will be installed at three additional locations at a later date - Bradys Lake, Lake Rowallan and Lake Crescent.
Last year, 2013, the IFS investigated the status of brown trout populations of the state's rivers. A report on that survey is available on this website. As part of ongoing monitoring of the status of stocks the survey was replicated during the last week of February and first week of March this year. All rivers that were surveyed last year were repeated and a few additional rivers have been added. The Mersey, Meander, Tyenna, Gawler, Dasher, Rubicon, Minnow, Leven, Coal, Clyde, Russell, Nile, St Patricks rivers and Forth Falls and Seven Time creeks were all surveyed. Conditions for the survey were very good for electrofishing with low flows ensuring that good efficiency of capture. Initial indications are that the numbers of fish had improved from last year's survey and that size classes absent last year due to cormorant predation were now present. A report on the survey will be available on this website in the next month.