Inland Fisheries Service News
The 2014/15 rainbow trout season is shaping up to be a good one with the current high water levels and recent catches of good sized fish in brown trout waters. With the opening of the waters known as the rainbow trout waters on Saturday 4 October and the great weather we have been experiencing, there has never been a better time to take your friends and family and go fishing. Tasmania’s rainbow trout waters are: • Dee Lagoon • Junction Lake • Lake Meston • Lake Rowallan • Lake Skinner • Lake Youd • Mersey River above Lake Rowallan • River Leven upstream of Loogana Road • Weld rivers (both North and South) Most of the waters are fairly remote and lakes Junction, Meston, Youd, Skinner and the Mersey River above Lake Rowallan are waters that you need to walk to but they are great fisheries that offer a range of fantastic fishing opportunities. Dee Lagoon is an accessible lake on the central plateau. It has good access with two formal boat ramps, one which was recently upgraded. There are also a number of informal boat ramps. Lake Skinner and the River Leven are stocked with rainbow trouts by IFS. All these waters will close on 31st May 2015. Please check the 2014/2015 Tasmanian Inland Fishing Code for the regulations for these waters as some are restricted to artificial methods and others are very distinct sections of rivers.
Inland Fisheries as a major sponsor will be at the Cressy Trout Expo this coming weekend. Look out for our "trout" car and come and have a chat with us to find out how you can win a brand new Ford Ranger by purchasing a full or five season licence this year. We will also have on hand the latest anglers access brochures, a lets go fishing booklet for the kids and information on our 150th celebrations memorabilia. This season there has never been a better time to go fishing with high lake water levels as a result of three seasons of above average rain and the significant stocking we have just done with the relocation of 30,000 adult brown trout to Bradys, Four Springs, Penstock, Tooms and Lake Leake. Not to mention all the new infrastructure work including the upgrade of Dee Lagoon car park and removal of navigation hazards and the new dual lane boat ramp and pontoon at Bradys Lake The Cressy Trout Expo is held at Brumby’s Creek between weirs 2 and 3 – The gates open at 7:00 am each day of the fishing competition and the event starts at 8:00 am. Come and say hello.
Due to drought conditions, Arthurs Lake level was drawn low in 2008. The lake started refilling in 2009 and has since reached very high levels. Hydro Tasmania has been monitoring Arthurs Lake periodically since 1991 and every year since 2008. The data indicates that there have been significant increases in phytoplankton, nutrients and turbidity levels following the low levels in 2008. These increases have remained during the recent high water levels and there are a number of possible reasons for this. A die back of macrophytes during the low lake levels may have resulted in more nutrients being available for algae growth in Arthurs Lake. Wind resuspension of sediments as a result of low water levels may also have contributed to the pool of nutrients in the water column. Input of nutrients from dying terrestrial vegetation following the increase in water level may have fuelled the on-going raised nutrient and algae levels. A fire within the Arthurs Lake catchment in December 2012 may also continue to influence water quality as a result of nutrients from burnt vegetation being washed into the lake. Water quality results from Arthurs Lake indicate that a change from low nutrient concentrations towards moderate nutrient concentrations has occurred. It appears unlikely that in the next few years the water quality in Arthurs Lake will return to conditions similar to pre 2008. Monitoring of water quality will continue this year.
It has come to the attention of IFS that there have been people fishing in Dee Lagoon in recent weeks. To protect rainbow trout stocks and enable spawning Dee Lagoon does not open until 4 October 2014 and closes on 31 May 2015. The same open season applies to Junction Lake, Lake Meston, Lake Rowallan, Lake Youd, Lake Skinner, Mersey River above Lake Rowallan, River Leven upstream of Loongana Road Bridge, Weld River (North) upstream of grid reference E575769 N5443349 and Weld River (South) upstream of grid reference E479455 N5234171. On a recent patrol at Dee Lagoon officers apprehended a person for fishing without an angling licence in this closed water. Of note the person was driving an unregistered boat without a licence and without the required safety equipment. Before setting out to fish check your 2014-15 Fishing Code issued with your licence to see if the water if open to fishing.
IFS staff recently completed a full maintenance inspection of the fencing installed some years ago to keep stock out of Bronte Lagoon. Running from the walkway over Woodwards Canal all the way to Fly Corner and then beyond into thick bush, this fence has been successful in stopping cattle from entering the Lagoon along the Long Shore which is well known for its fly fishing opportunities. Funded and managed by Hydro Tasmania, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy and Inland Fisheries, this project was important to removing the environmental impacts arising from a large number of cattle grazing the sensitive margins of the lagoon.
The 2013/14 Carp Management Program Annual Report has now been completed and is available for public access at the link below. Find out the latest news on the 2013/14 season with the Carp Management Program and how the battle against carp in Lake Sorell is progressing. Read about the trials and development of new carp eradication techniques and what the season ahead is going to entail.
Increasing numbers of anglers are keen to pit their skills against the big trout at Lake Crescent. An extended period for fishing the lake introduced for the 2014/15 season (Now open to fishing from 1 hour before sunrise to 3 hours after sunset during the season), improving lake levels and water clarity all tip the odds slightly in favour of the angler. Those in the know are aware that whilst Lake Crescent is one of the more challenging fisheries in Tasmania the rewards can be exceptional. Visitors to Lake Crescent are reminded that there is one boat ramp at Lake Crescent and that camping is not permitted on Crown Land around the lake. Excellent camping sites are available, however, at Dago Point only 7 km from the Lake Crescent boat ramp. Lake Sorell remains closed to all recreational activities.
Screens were first built at the outlet of Lake Crescent leading into the Clyde River, and the outlet of Lake Sorell flowing into Lake Crescent, to ensure there is no further spread of carp between and outside of these water bodies. As no carp have been detected in Lake Crescent now for over seven years, the screens leading into the Clyde River have now been removed. However, there is still a big emphasis placed on the Lake Sorell screens, as any breach in the containment structures could result in the re-introduction of carp back into Lake Crescent, as well as a lot of hard work down the drain. Carp Management staff recently changed the mesh on the Lake Sorell screens from 1 mm to 12 mm mesh, as a precautionary measure in case of the requirement to release large amounts of water, due to high rainfall. The diameter of the mesh is such to avoid any translocation of carp from one lake to the other, but more importantly the 1 mm mesh is reinstalled from October to March when the risk of carp spawning is at its greatest. 1 mm mesh is used to ensure that in the unlikely event of carp spawning, even eggs cannot be transferred through to Lake Crescent.
The Inland Fisheries Service meets four times a year with Anglers Alliance Tasmania (AAT). AAT is the peak body representing Tasmania's freshwater anglers. The IFS delivers a report to AAT prior to each meeting for information on IFS activities and discussion at the meetings. These reports are published on the IFS website and can be found here. AAT also publish the minutes to the meetings on their website www.anglersalliance.org.au
Inland Fisheries Officers conducted patrols across the state to coincide with the opening of the 2014/15 angling season on Saturday 2 August. With many rivers impacted by flood and snow down to 300 metres, challenging conditions confronted anglers and officers alike. With hardy resolve both groups rose to the challenge with over 380 anglers checked at 28 waters as far afield as Lake Kara in the north west to Tooms Lake in the east, Penstock Lagoon in the central highlands and Lake Pawleena in the south. Anglers were rewarded with 126 rainbow trout, 130 browns and two Atlantic salmon. A number of offences were detected including failure to wear PFD’s in boats under 6 metres and some anglers being caught out by the new bag and size limits introduced for the 2014/15 season. Most pleasing was the number of families, juniors and increasingly, female anglers, getting in on the early action, being part of the 150 years of trout celebrations and going into the draw for the Ford Ranger.