Weekly Report 21 Feb 08

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Weekly Report 21 Feb 08

Post by Brad » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:20 pm

The sun has emerged at last. Now the flamin grass is growing like it's on steroids. The Fitzroy River is rising again and we could get another flood evel similar to that of a few weeks ago. At least so far this time the flood waters aren't full of hyacinth and hymenachne. The lagoons are already full, so this should provide the perfect opportunity for juvenile barra (if they're out there) to migrate into these nursery areas.

At long last a couple of local commercial fishers are cooperating and providing information about tagged barra they are catching. What this info is showing, is that the majority of tagged barra being caught after the flooding are fish that have been stocked in various locations in the upper system. The biggest numbers are from a stocking in Alligator Creek in February 2005, but some are also from a 2006 stocking as well as one from the Beford Weir 560kms upstream on the McKenzie River, and a second from stocking near Moura on the Dawson River. There is now no doubt at all that stocking throughout the Fitzroy system is significantly contributing to the overall stocks in the saltwater. It is a shame though that the commercial and indigenous netters are reaping the lion's share of the benefits of this stocking, despite not putting a red cent into the activity.

Offshore the water in Keppel Bay is still pretty murky and fresh as you'd expect and will stay that way for a fair while yet. The weather looks very promising for this coming weekend, but I suggest you'll need to go at least 50kms offshore to find fish in any numbers. I'd totally forget the estuaries at this point because of the huge volumes of freshwater they've experienced. By way of example, under normal conditions the flow rate upstream in Waterpark Creek is about 20 meglitres/day. On Tuesday last week at the peak of the heavy rain, a flow rate of an amazing 27,000 megalitres/day was recorded. That's a serious lump of water moving through the system and out to sea. I've just resigned myself to not going fishing for a while, but happy in the knowledge that once things settle down, the fishing is almost certain to be great.
This is what a stocked barra fingerling looks like after being tagged and ready for release.

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