News from the IFS
Blue Green Algae Awareness over Summer
Increasing water temperature at Woods Lake make it susceptible to blooms of blue green algae
Monitoring of toxicity of blue green algal blooms is undertaken by relevant government health authorities. Their advice is provided through written advisories which are erected on site where the concerns for public health exist.
As water temperatures increase over summer, there is an increased likelihood of blue green algal blooms. There are a number of different species of blue green algae which occur naturally in our waterways and the blooms are associated with elevated water temperatures and other characteristics of certain water bodies. They typically occur in shallow lowland waters with high nutrient loads and may spread between connected systems.
The potential toxicity to humans caused by blue green algae varies according to the species, the density of cells within the bloom and the life stage of the bloom (eg whether the cells have died off and are breaking down). In some cases, there is little risk from skin contact or eating fish from water containing a bloom while in other situations, the toxicity may be greater.
Blue green algae was identified at Four Springs Lake in mid December and a public warning was placed by the Meander Valley Council beneath the Inland Fisheries sign adjacent to the boat ramp. Further sampling, including toxicity testing, was taken more recently and the species does not appear to be toxic.
A high bio-volume of blue green algae cells was also identified at Woods Lake in early January. Although this lake is situated in the Central Highlands, it has a history of elevated water temperatures and cyanobacterial counts. Monitoring by Hydro Tasmania is ongoing and local health authorities will advise regarding any risk to public health from recreation or drinking water containing the algae.
The IFS will keep anglers posted regarding the outcome of monitoring of these and other waters via the website.
Tasmania to host the XV Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships
The Inland Fisheries Service is proud to announce that Tasmania will host the XV Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships from 15-18 February.
Download a copy of the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships Advertising Flyer here.
The fact that Tasmania was selected for this prestigious international event demonstrates the value of the State’s recreational inland fishery and its standing as a world class wild trout fishery.
The interest by competitors has also been outstanding with 16 teams from 13 countries participating, making this the largest Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championship ever held.
Teams of five anglers from Canada, Kiribati, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, Malta, India, New Zealand, Isle of Man, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will descend on Tasmania for the event and for a period prior to acclimatise to the Tasmanian fishing conditions.
The four day event will be held at five separate inland waters to test the range of fly fishing skills involved in angling from a boat, river and lake shore. The venues are the South Esk River, Arthurs Lake, Woods Lake, Little Pine Lagoon and Meander River.
The Country Club Casino in Launceston will be the central base for the teams during the competition and the venue for the Fly Fishing Expo, which is open to the public on Saturday 18 February.
The event also includes a gala opening and official welcome by the Governor of Tasmania in Deloraine on Wednesday 15 February. A public parade through the main street will commence at 4 pm and involve local school students who have prepared banners for each of the participating countries.
The IFS is keen to ensure that the competitors in the Championships experience the best that the Tasmanian fishery has to offer, as well as the friendly hospitality that this State is renowned for.
The image of Tasmania’s wild trout fishery is synonymous with the State’s branding and tourism marketing, and the event will be a real bonus for local businesses in regional areas. It should generate interest through word of mouth amongst the international angling community as well as providing national and international media coverage of the State’s unique natural asset – it’s wild trout fishery.
Tassal Salmon for Meadowbank Lake
The Inland Fisheries Service received the latest donation of 1,705 good quality Atlantic salmon from Tassal on Wednesday 12 January.
Approximately 1,560 of these were released into Meadowbank Lake on the same day while a further 100 have been kept for a junior angler event and the remainder for use as display fish at the Salmon Ponds.
The all male fish were surplus 2 year old brood stock which needed to be sorted to make room for other commercial stock at Tassal's Russell Falls hatchery. Each fish weighed an average of approximately 1 kg, which is a good size for kids to catch and their quality should provide excellent eating.
Level Changes at Bronte Lagoon
Hydro Tasmania will undertake repair and maintenance work in coming months that will affect water levels at Bronte Lagoon. To allow work in the canal, Bronte Lagoon will be drawn down to lower than the preferred angling minimum water level from 6 February to 9 March. The IFS and MAST will conduct works on the boat ramps in the area to capitalise on the period of lower water levels. The following is a copy of the public notice by Hydro advising about the water level changes.
Hydro Tasmania is undertaking repair and maintenance work on the Bronte Canal. This work is best achieved if Bronte Lagoon is drawn down to below the canal weir crest height (664.3m) to limit water washing over the weir due to wave action in Bronte Lagoon. The weir is located at the downstream end of the canal at the bridge over the Lyell Highway.
To allow work in the canal, Bronte Lagoon will be lowered to 664.1m, which is 0.4m lower than the preferred angling minimum water level. The planned duration of the drawdown of the lagoon is from 6 February to 9 March 2012.
The IFS and MAST will be taking advantage of the lower levels to repair and extend some boat ramps in the area. The IFS plans to relocate fish from Bronte Canal to Bradys Lake before work takes place inside the canal.
Questions should be directed to the Hydro Tasmania Project Manager, Andrew Rumsby on 1300 360 441
Strong Government Support to Manage Carp in Tasmania
The fight to eradicate carp from Lake Sorell has been given a major boost with an $820,000 grant from the Gillard Government’s Caring for Our Country initiative.
The two-year funding for the Inland Fisheries Service Carp Management Program will help to protect the endangered golden galaxia fish and conserve biodiversity, particularly in Interlaken Lakeside Reserve, one of the nominated Australian Ramsar sites of national environmental significance.
The Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Bryan Green, said the additional funding effectively matched the State Government’s contribution and would greatly assist the effort to eradicate the pest within two years.
“The State Government has invested a total of $7.73 million dollars in the eradication program since 1995,” Mr Green said.
“Through the use of innovative techniques the Inland Fisheries Service has removed more than 34,000 carp from the two lakes and has successfully eradicated the destructive pest from Lake Crescent.”
Federal Member for Lyons, Dick Adams said European carp are a nationally-recognised pest and pose a significant threat to local waterways.
“Carp are known to reduce water quality, damage aquatic plants, dominate fish communities and threaten endangered species,” Mr Adams said.
“A single 4kg female carp can produce up to 1 million eggs so this project is another important step towards preserving Tasmania’s natural resources.
“This Caring for our Country funding will be used towards integrated pest management techniques that target carp and prevent spawning, including trapping, netting and radio tracking.”
Mr Green said Inland Fisheries would draw on lessons learned through the history of the program to successfully complete the eradication effort.
“A spawning in Lake Sorell in 2009 was a major setback for the program but the response to the incident showed that it was possible to prevent further spawning despite ideal conditions occurring again in 2010.
“Our aim is to eliminate any of the remaining adults in Lake Sorell along with the juvenile cohort from 2009 before the fish mature over the next two years, while preventing the spread of the pest into the Derwent River System.
“Findings from the project will continue to inform carp management in other areas throughout Australia, and will also help to foster partnerships between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments with the local community”.
For more information about the Caring for our Country initiative visit www.nrm.gov.au.