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Carp team prepares for upcoming spawning season

A carp being implanted with a radio transmitter.

IFS staff have been busy preparing for the upcoming carp season in Lake Sorell. The two main areas of focus being, spawning prevention and active fish down of the remaining carp in the lake.

Spawning prevention has been targeted in a number of ways. Fourteen kilometres of polypropylene barrier net is in place to prevent carp accessing the warm shallow marshland where they prefer to spawn. This has been inspected and any holes repaired. In addition to this, large fyke nets have been installed into the barrier net in strategic locations where carp have shown particular interest. Gill net will be placed behind the barrier net as an added safeguard to catch any fish which may breach the barrier net. This season will see an intensive gill netting program commencing mid- October which will target areas and catch fish before they move into the shallow bays. It is at this time with the combination of rising water levels and temperatures that the urge to spawn is at its greatest.

An anchor system to hold the barrier net has been installed. These anchors screw directly into the mud and attach with rope to the lead line on the barrier net. This prevents the barrier net moving in strong wind and blowing up on the points creating gaps underneath the lead line. The anchors being below the mud level have the added advantage of not creating wear points on the net or structure on which it could get hung up on.

Removal of fish from the lake is an ongoing process which is aided with the use of radio tracking equipment. During September, an intense fishing effort was made to catch suitable fish to implant with radio transmitters. Implanting was done by Dr Andrew Nicholson from Montrose Veterinary Clinic and ably assisted by Dr Jawahar Patil . An additional 15 transmitter fish were released into the lake bringing the total number to 31. Each transmitter has a battery life of 502 days and weighs 14 grams. These fish will be used to track movements and lead to aggregations of carp which can then be targeted with gill nets and electrofishing.

Story by Chris Bowen


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