by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
|Women's fishing clinic|
To mark International Women's Day, free fishing clinics for women and girls are being held in Hobart and St Helens.
If you'd like to try fishing, or to brush up your skills, come along to one of the clinics where you'll get tips from experienced volunteers and female mentors. We'll have gear available or bring your own rod. Learn how to rig it, cast your line and handle a fish when you catch one.
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| Some of the rubbish
collected as part of
Clean up Australia Day
from Lake Sorell
The Inland Fisheries Service participated in Business Clean Up Australia Day yesterday. We focussed on Angler Access sites along the River Derwent. The section from the Bridgewater Bridge to Gretna.
We also cleaned up the Dago Point campground and Mountain Creek shore campsites at Lake Sorell.
Anglers appear to be keeping the fishing locations relatively clean. The road side verges, where cars can pull over, provide focal points for people to drop off garbage.
We collected numerous tyres along with household rubbish. Staff enjoyed the pleasant weather and the opportunity to try and make a difference to the litter problem.
|Cramps Bay Pontoon|
Marine And Safety Tasmania (MAST), in conjunction with Hydro Tasmania, have completed installation of a cable pontoon at Cramps Bay, yingina / Great Lake. Located at the north eastern end of the lake the pontoon provides added convenience for day trips from the Launceston area and for local shack owners. The installation was the result of a successful funding application submitted to MAST by Cramps Bay boaters. The pontoon compliments existing facilities at Swan Bay and Brandum Bay. The Inland Fisheries Service congratulates MAST and Hydro Tasmania on completion of another significant project. A great example of your boating registration fees at work.
Rain,hail and cool conditions were forecast today, after having a 11:15 am doctor's appointment it was a late start to the day for my planned spin session in the upper Mersey River. On the way to the river there was quite a lot of weather moving in, very low dark rain clouds weren't all that far off from where I was heading. When I got to the river there was already someone in it fishing their way upstream so I headed to another stretch of river a couple of kilometres further upstream, a stretch of water I haven't fished for around 5 years. No sooner had I arrived (12:50 pm) I only had time to put on the wading gear when heavy rain & light hail arrived, all I could do was sit in the car and wait for it to pass. After a twenty minute wait it had passed and I was out of the car heading down to the river.
High water levels are expected at Lake Augusta until late March, which may temporarily block access to the Julian and Pillans Lakes area. This change in water level is to allow completion of works at Liawenee Canal. If you are visiting the area, the Pillans Lake Track may be inundated if Lake Augusta's water level is at or higher than 2.62 metres from full.
The Nineteen Lagoons area should still be accessible, unless Lake Augusta spills following high rainfall.
Before setting off, check the Lake Augusta water level, check the weather and stay safe.
|Could this be the
last female carp
from Lake Sorell?
At the start of spring it was estimated that there were less than five carp in the Lake Sorell. Intensive fishing started in late October, as the water warmed and carp are known to become more active. The Carp Management Program staff set an average of over 7km of gill net every day in Lake Sorell, targetting likely carp habitat. After 362 days with no carp captured it was looking like there may have been none left! But the persistence paid off and three carp were caught in Lake Sorell during the period of hot weather in January. This brought the total number of carp removed from Lake Sorell to 41 499.
The hot, sunny, settled weather in January saw the water temperature hovering around 19 degrees, perfect for carp movement. The first carp for the 2020/21 season was caught on the 11/1/21, the second on the 12/1/21, and the third on the 14/1/21. The carp were a small female, and two small males which were both affected with advanced stages of the jelly gonad condition, making them sterile.
Although the female had 230gm of eggs, they were completely intact and she had not spawned. All three carp were very small for their age (839 to 1400gm), given they are likely to be over 11 years old. Given there hasn't been a successful spawning for many years we think it is increasingly likely that the carp population is unable to breed. The last sexually mature male was caught on 16 December 2018.
The intensive fishing continued through to early February but no further carp were captured. Given the low catch rates and the water temperatures now dropping, Lake Sorell was re-opened to the public on 6 Feb 2021. There has been no sign of spawning again this season and juvenile surveys will be undertaken in coming weeks to confirm this.
This follows the temporary closure of the lake to allow additional fishing effort to further drive down the remaining carp population.
After more than 26 years of carp eradication work 41,499 carp have been removed from Lake Sorell and screens are being maintained to prevent carp from escaping the lake.
This season, only three carp were caught during the peak fishing period from October 2020 until the end of January 2021. It is estimated that there are few, if any, carp remaining in Lake Sorell.
It is increasingly likely that carp will be eradicated from the lake.
This re-opening of Lake Sorell is part of the successful progression of the Carp Management Program, the program will continue with some further periods of closure until full eradication is achieved.
The trout population has been reduced by the intense carp fishing effort, however stock levels are expected to rebuild naturally over the coming years, similar to Lake Crescent where anglers are now catching trophy trout.
Access is available from Dago Point and Mountain Creek sides of the lake. Access via Silver Plains remains closed.
The Australia Day Long weekend saw many anglers take advantage of the idyllic weather and go trout fishing.
Over the weekend Officers from Inland Fisheries, Tasmania Police and Marine and Safety Tasmania patrolled waters state wide.
Overall 274 recreational angling inspections were completed. 121 recreational boating inspections were also conducted.
Under Inland Fisheries rules three people were found to be fishing without a licence, and one person was found to be using bait in an artificial lures only water.
Under Marine and Safety Tasmania rules four people were found not wearing their PFDs. Three vessels were found to be exceeding 5 knots in restricted areas and two had failed to display their boat registration numbers correctly.
Eight Conditional Cautions were issued for the wearing PFD’s that did not comply with the new AS4758.1 standard. The older style PFDs (AS1512 standard) were made obsolete on January 1st this year.
On Friday 22nd January 2021 David George McDERMOTT appeared in Devonport Magistrates Court on 34 charges relating to the illegal taking of whitebait.
Mr McDERMOTT pleaded guilty and was convicted on all charges. He was fined $13260.
The charges related to the taking of whitebait from the Mersey River in October 2019. The Mersey River was closed to the taking of whitebait at the time. Mr McDERMOTT was found by our Officers taking whitebait on several days.
Magistrate Jackie Harnett acknowledged the fragility of the whitebait fishery in her sentencing submission.
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 the species and recreational fishery at risk.
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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.
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Sea-run trout fishing this year got off to a cracking start in most areas, with the majority of anglers employing nearly every trout fishing technique to secure fish in local estuaries statewide.
Even those anglers fishing the "off-season" lower down in our estuaries for sea-trout commented on the number of fish moving in early August.