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.
On Monday 25th January an angler found a gill net set in Four Springs Lake. He immediately reported it to IFS officers.
Officers responded quickly and removed the net. It was found to contain 6 trout. Thankfully the net had not captured any platypus.
We thank the angler that quickly passing the information on.
If you notice any illegal fishing activity in our inland waters please report it to us on either 0438 338 530 (Compliance phone number) or 1300 INFISH (1300 463 474). Our Officers can’t be everywhere so your help to protect our valuable inland fisheries is greatly appreciated!
Perfect weather was forecast and with the Meander River running at 60cms it was time for another fast water spin session today. I was in the river by 7:20am and the conditions were perfect as forecast, the river was running cool and clear it couldn't have been better, all I needed now was to find the trout. This morning I decided to give the Black Fury a go, the Black Fury inline spinner is the first lure I caught a trout on some 55 years ago and it's the lure that got me into trout fishing. It's been a while since I used one and with the water being at the right height today I thought it was well worth giving it a go using the cast and drift method in the fast waters. With the water running at 60cms there's a lot of flat waters on both sides of the river and I'm hoping most will be holding trout.
From the CEO
Right now, recreational fishers are out in their tens of thousands around Tasmania, supporting small communities and businesses with their purchases. Our ability to have a positive impact on regional and remote communities that have been doing in tough in 2020 should not be underestimated. Someone recently said to me that recreational fishers don’t generate “new money” into Tasmania like the commercial sector does when it exports fish. That is largely true but it’s not the full picture. Each fishing sector plays an important economic role in Tasmania. As recreational fishers, our role is to circulate money throughout Tasmania. By fishing in coastal and regional communities, we are like veins – we pump money from the city centres of Tasmania out into the regions. Of Tasmania’s 29 Local Council Areas, 20 touch Tasmania’s coast line and with over 100,000 Tasmanians fishing every year our ability to support those communities through the simple act of going fishing is real.
As the Government continues to develop it’s 10-Year Recreational Fishing Strategy, TARFish continues to advocate for you with particular focus on: protected access arrangements to key species, infrastructure investment that makes it easier for people to go fishing, and funding for the long-term. We are seeking fair and protected outcomes for recreational fishers and to be fully recognised for the role we play in supporting Tasmania’s economy and its place in Tasmania’s way of life.
The strength of that advocacy comes from you, our members and I warmly welcome the hundreds of new members that have joined us in recent weeks. As the Government-recognised peak body, the Government will listen to our views but how hard they listen and how they respond is up to all of us. The more members we have, the harder we are to ignore. A single and united voice is a compelling one for Governments. As we approach both a state and federal election in the coming months it is important that we work together and throughout February TARFish will be visiting communities around Tasmania to meet with recreational fishers. Dates and locations will be available from our website by the end of the week and we’ll promote them on our Facebook page. I encourage all recreational fishers to come along and share their views on what a positive recreational fishing future looks like and how we can get there. Your views will shape the ongoing development of TARFish’s position on the things that matter most to recreational fishers and how we can work for you to deliver results.
Another top day here in Sheffield today with a maximum temperature of 22 degrees followed up with a gusty South Westerly later in the day, a good day to hit one of the larger rivers again. This time it was the upper reaches of the Mersey River at Weegena that I headed to for the second time this season. My last trip here was quite a while ago, that trip was a real fizzer with just the one brown trout caught and released. I arrived at 7:50am and was in the river by 7:56am, the water was running very clear so I started the session off with a Mepps #0 Stone Fly Bug spinner.
After a forty five minute drive to the Meander River this morning (6:45am) only to find the river bottom full of green cotton like algae, it wasn't worth putting the gear on to fish the area so headed back to chase the Mersey River trout. By the time I reached my entry point in the Mersey River it was 8:55 am, not the early start I had originally planned. I started the spin session off in the same area that I've fished on my last couple of trips here, mainly because it's been giving up a few trout on those trips, so while the iron's hot stick with it. The river level was down marginally since my last spin session which was good, the river bottom was still it's usual slimy, slippery self though. The first stretch of fast water I fished with the #1 Aglia Furia was the one that's given up several rainbows, today it didn't give a yelp, not a single touch from a trout.
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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.
The first Atlantic salmon eggs used to begin Tasmania's Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry were introduced into Tasmania in 1984. From these humble beginnings a valuable Tasmanian industry has evolved with a worldwide reputation for having a premium disease free product. This industry provides a spin off to all anglers in the form of regular escapes of salmon from the farms.