Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.
The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.Read more ...
The first month of the brown trout season has started very well with excellent fishing reports coming from around the state.
In the south, the River Derwent is producing some lovely resident and sea run trout after a high water event in late August. Lure anglers seem to be making the most of this estuary fishing although not much whitebait has been seen. The Tyenna River has also fished well and is always a consistent performer for all forms of fishing at this time of year when water levels permit. Large fish were caught at Rostrevor Lagoon during the opening weeks and this should continue with the rain that is forecast.
On the east coast, Tooms Lake and Lake Leake are very low but should receive and boat anglers must be mindful of submerged logs and stumps. With a large easterly weather pattern hitting the state, these lakes could be the pick of the waters when levels rise. Expect bigger than average fish and plenty of them.
The IFS recently undertook an in-lake survey at Curries River Reservoir in the states north east. The reservoir is located just off the B82 between George Town and Bridport and was built in the late 1970’s as a domestic water supply for Georgetown.
The IFS have been stocking the reservoir since the 1980’s and it is currently managed as a trophy fishery. In 2019, 400 rainbow trout and 1,175 fin clipped adult brown trout were released. The fin clipped fish were released to form the basis of a population estimate based on recapture numbers and will give us information on growth rates if surveys are conducted at the reservoir in future years.
While the final results from our survey are currently being analysed, results appear to indicate that the existing population of trout is quite low. In total over the two days using 80 traps, 97 brown trout were captured with 83 having fin clips which represents 87 percent. Over both days, 4 rainbow trout were captured. All of the fish were in good condition and the presence of large numbers of galaxiid suggests that trout should put on weight quickly.
Hydro Tasmania is holding a community session at Deloraine this week which will give the public an opportunity to meet with Hydro Tasmania representatives and learn more about the Battery of the Nation Project.
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I only realized a few days ago that during the 2019/20 trout season I will be going for my 10,000th trout since we moved to Tasmania back in March 2000.
With a total catch of 8,956 brown trout, 914 rainbow trout & 1 brook trout (total 9,871 trout) to the end of the 2018/19 season I only need 129 trout to reach it.
With 16 trout already caught & released in three trips I hope to catch another 113 by the end of October- early September providing the weather improves.
I have also set myself a target of 600 again for the 2019/20 trout season, same as I set last year & fell 27 short of the target. Will I reach it, who knows but I'll certainly be having a good crack at reaching it. Look forward to getting back into the rivers once the levels drop to a safe wading height and become a little warmer too.
PS - If you want to read Adrian's complete tally sheet, click HERE
Despite the rugged, cold conditions over the last few weeks, the Carp Management Program is starting to ramp up with gear preparations for the coming carp season. This involved inspecting and repairing the 14 kilometres of barrier net blocking carp spawning sites in the wetlands. Several kilometres of gill net was also repaired, which included both gill nets used in active fishing operations, as well as blocking gill nets to prevent carp from accessing the marshes.
Over the next few weeks, the big fyke nets will be sewn back into the barrier nets. These will be placed in strategic locations to catch any mature carp pushing into the shallows seeking spawning habitat. The secondary spawning protection gill nets will also be set behind the barrier nets.
More poor weather was forecast for later in the day so I was a little undecided whether or not to head off for another spin session in a small tannin stream. At the moment I'm staying away from the larger rivers due to the lack of trout being caught in them as well as the high water levels & water temps being so low. Not only that, I really do love fishing the little tight tannin streams, even though the trout may be small it's still a challenge finding them. In the end I got my act together & headed over to the same little stream I fished back on the 12th August where I caught a couple of browns on the Mepps #0 Aglia fluo rainbow trout coloured blade.
Another cool dull overcast day had me scratching my head to where I would go for a spin session and with rain forecast I decided to fish a small tannin stream on private property around 15 kilometres from home. No sooner had I left home there was some light drizzle but no sooner had I arrived it was gone but there was still more to come from what I could see. After a brisk fifteen minutes walk I was in the stream and ready for action, well that was what I was hoping for. The first twenty meters or so were a little quiet with just the one follow from a small brown, a good sign to see a trout here for starters.
My first couple of days (3rd & 5th August) of the 2019/20 trout season started like this... With the 2019/20 Trout Season well under way I have had a couple of trips to check out a few waters around the place. I haven't really got myself fired up enough to put a lot of time into chasing the trout yet due to the very low water temps in the rivers & streams due to snow melt. I reckon it's just an age thing, being 73 years of age I don't feel the need to push myself too early in the season, besides it's too damn cold anyway. So what I've done over the past couple of days is just hop in a river & stream (that weren't running too high) here and there for twenty to forty minutes and test out my new Okuma Celilo 6'6'' & 6' ULS 1-3kg trout rods, Okuma Helios SX 20 reels and give the Platypus lines & Mepps fluo lures a short workout for when I do get serious. I'll tell you now, the Okuma gear I used is the perfect trout set up, beautifully balanced & light weight which is perfect for trout fishing, the Helios SX20 reel runs nice & smooth and is a pleasure to use. The water temp in the rivers I've had a practice sessions in has been in the 2 - 3 degree range and I can tell you now, it was bloody freezing, hence the short time I spent in them.. I did manage a couple of hook ups on a Mepps #0 Aglia fluo tiger spinner in a small creek but lost both fish. After the three month lay off each trip helps me to hone up my casting skills and gets me a little fitter after my hibernation period. I'll start to get into it over the coming weeks once the days slowly get warmer and hopefully the snow will have eased off. Last season I only had four trips to the rivers in August with just 15 trout caught & released, then in September I had five trips for 21 trout caught & released. Hopefully it won't be all that long before I have my first trout of the 2019/20 trout season in the net.
In Devonport Magistrates Court on 1 August 2019 Kerry James Davison, of Devonport, appeared on matters relating to the illegal taking of whitebait. Mr Davison was found guilty of exceeding the 2 Kilogram daily bag limit, and exceeding the 10 Kilogram possession limit. Mr Davison was found by our Officers in possession of 37.9 Kilograms of whitebait. He had also taken 6.15 Kilograms from the Forth River in one day.
The charges were laid as a result of a joint Inland Fisheries, Parks and Wildlife and Tasmania Police Operation conducted in November 2017.
Mr Davison was convicted on both charges and was fined $4929, along with $85.86 in Court costs. During sentencing, the Magistrate referred to Mr Davison’s actions as a serious matter. The Magistrate also said that people needed to fish within the regulations for the fishery to remain sustainable. The Magistrates also acknowledged that the verdict was intended to provide a general deterrence to those who would also consider breaking the laws relating to the taking and possession of whitebait.
Whitebait regulations are in place for a reason. The fishery is fragile because of over fishing between the 1940’s and 1960’s. Illegal fishing for whitebait puts this fishery at risk for everybody who enjoys this activity.
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Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me via www.rwtt.com.au/contact-me/ for further information - Stephen Smith.
During the trout off-season I tend to spend a bit of time chasing bream, to continue getting a fishing fix, and spend time tying flies and dreaming about the trout season to come. It’s a time to spend doing tackle maintenance, stocking up on lures and dreaming up new challenges and goals for the trout season ahead. When the new season comes around I usually spend the first few months targeting sea runners. Sea run trout are simply brown trout that spend much of there lives out to sea and come in to the estuaries for spawning and to feed on whitebait and the other small endemic fishes that spawn in late winter through spring. Mixed in with the silvery sea runners you can also expect to catch resident fish that have the typical dark colours of a normal brown trout as well as atlantic salmon in some of our estuaries that are located near salmon farm pens. Living in Hobart it is quick and easy to do a trip on the Huon or Derwent and is a more comfortable proposition compared to a trip up to the highlands with snow and freezing winds to contend with.Read more ...