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Author Topic: SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS  (Read 5013 times)

Chris

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« on: January 17, 2013, 11:28:46 am »
I am looking for input from all of the fishers out there on any problems that you have come across when fishing the states rivers & streams. You can add lakes to it as well if you wish as I will put those replies into a separate section.

The IFS have ask me to do this monitoring of river fisheries as to try and asses the impact cormorants have had on our river systems. So any information you have and can place on this forum is greatly appreciated, doesn't matter how big or small your report is either as every bit helps. So please start placing your reports to this forum ASAP.

I will notify this forum when this survey is completed as I am not sure how long the IFS want it to run for. Maybe to the end of the season.

Cheers Adrian. (browntrout)

meppstas

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 06:38:42 pm »
Okay all you trout fishers out there, this forum is set and ready for your input into how the rivers that you are fishing are faring, and has there been any impacts to them from cormorants that you may have encountered. If your fishing has been poor is it because of them or maybe it due to the fact that we had a few seasons of below average rainfall and now it's showing the results of that.
cheers Adrian
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 06:45:23 pm by BrownTrout »
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Chris

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 09:10:27 pm »
Anyone got anything to give Adrian to report on? think1

meppstas

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 09:28:30 pm »
Anyone got anything to give Adrian to report on? think1
I think the cat's got their tongue Chris.... laugh1 laugh1
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Chris

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 09:35:21 pm »
 laugh1 laugh1

Then they won't complain when the cormorants get their fish whistlingdixie1

Tyenna Dave

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 10:09:45 pm »
I personally think that the Tyenna is down to nearly one third of last seasons bio-mass with my bag rates dropping to an average 12-14 fish per 4 hours .The previous season seen more the likes of 35-40 fish per 4 hours .Of course these bags are taken numerous times through the summer months when the fishing is hot .There are many days where the fishing is hard and at present i'm averaging around 6-7 fish per 4 hours where i was seeing a good 12-16 in the previous season on the tough days .
Some sections of river also seem to be void of fish where other sections have faired ok and some good fishing can still be had .
I hope that the IFS survey the sections of river below National Park to Westerway as these locations seem to be the hardest hit with mostly the 1.5 - 3lb fish on the missing list  censored1
Can't wait to see the results of the surveys  cool1
Dave ...

Chris

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 06:25:58 am »
Seems odd to have one size grade 'missing' Dave think1

Is there still fish smaller than this range around or is it basically everything below the 3lb mark?

Tyenna Dave

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 09:32:58 am »
Plenty of small fish about Chris and a good bulk of the 1.5-3lb fish are definately on the missing list  doh1
I would think around %75 of that size class has become comorant tucker  furious1
Dave ...

Ant2

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 09:34:18 am »
I can't make many comments as I have only just begun river fishing; used to always go up to the Lakes. Where I have gone to the Merseylea area this season there appears to be a good density of trout. I have not seen any cormorants when I have fished; lets hope it stays that way.

Chris

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2013, 09:36:31 am »
Yeah that was what I was thinking too Dave. My thought was if there are smaller ones then the cormorants are taking the mid sized ones. If no smaller ones I would have thought it would have been a breeding issue.

I wonder if a lot of the cormorants have actually moved from the estuary up the rivers? think1 I have noticed the past couple of years that there are less around the areas I fish in the estuary than previous years.....

Ramsheed

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2013, 09:50:18 am »
I never catch as many as Dave has on the tyenna either, however not sure I can blame the cormorants grin1
I have not fished the rivers long enough to be able to compare catch rates too well, but wherever I have gone this year - upper St Pats/North esk etc I have come across a least one of the big bombers - faster sections seem to perhaps be holding more fish than slower sections this year though.

meppstas

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2013, 09:57:22 am »
Thanks guys, that's a start any way appreciate your input. Like I said any little bit helps.
Some rivers and streams may be low on fish stocks due to low water levels, poor water quality, over fishing and the influx of cormorants too. This survey is about finding out why fish populations in some rivers are down. I don't know where it will go from the survey once it is completed and studied, I'm sure we will find out some time down the track. I'm just trying to gather as much info as possible to try and help the IFS solve the problem.
cheers Adrian
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matthewbrooks

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2013, 01:53:24 pm »
there is that many cormorants at little lake at the moment that im surprised there is any fish in it at all,there are thousands.also the last time i was at the 1st weir at brumbies creek there were heaps there aswell.how about we introduce a season for cormorants like we have for ducks laugh1 laugh1

meppstas

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 08:44:42 am »
Thanx guys, have to finish and get my report into the IFS by 4th Feb. So I am putting it together now.
So if anyone has anything to add please post it over the next few days.
Thanks Adrian
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 08:46:27 am by BrownTrout »
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Brad

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2013, 02:22:08 pm »
Heres a couple of my observations.

The Cam River.

Where we camp (lower stretches) and have fished (c&r) successfully for over 15 years there is all but zero fish here due to the resident cormorant population.  There is a fallen tree with a limb that sits high out of the river and is literally covered in white droppings where they sit by the dozen.  Other holes and stretches where they congregate are bare also.  We have witnessed them flying in flocks up the river and recently counted 20 ( over christmas ).  You could set your watch by them, leave about 7 and back about 8pm.

Strangly tho as as Dave touched on,  upstream there is the usual masses of smaller fish about the size of your hand, not sure why these arnt getting taken or are doing so well think1http://www.fishingboatingtasmania.com.au/forum/index.php?topic=3809.0 but i havnt seen anything over the couple of pound mark at all this season.

Not blaming the cormorants entirely as this river was in heavy flood a couple of years ago and the level is well down now but when you spook them and they spit out whole trout you know there getting their fair share.  Not sure if this has helped at all as im now slightly confused myself, but to finish.  Some holes and stretches are wiped out where they sit/nest near by.  The mid size fish are either getting alot smarter or are being heavilly targeted.  But the futures not so bleak with plenty of smaller trout.  The last thing to note is the cormorant population size.  They have always been fishing the river and will continue to do so.  But ive never seen so many.  Obvisously there is sufficient food currently, but hopefully not to the detriment to the trout population.
Whens the next adventure?

Ant2

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2013, 08:43:47 pm »
I'm semi serious about this, but wondering about the technology that is available to fishers like braid, soft plastics, and hard bodies. It is probably the smaller fish that are released while the 2lb trout might be keepers. Having suggested that though cormorants are the biggest factor. Just an extension of what Brad said about there being other factors that might be part of the problem.  think1 think1 fish1

meppstas

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2013, 11:00:01 pm »
** This is my article and report for the IFS, I have copied and pasted everyone else's onto a separate
article for the IFS. Mine goes back a couple of seasons as requested by the IFS to compare the seasons fishing overall.
as follows:
 **  SURVEY  OF  RIVER  FISHERIES & THE  IMPACT  OF  CORMORANTS **   (1)
                                                                                                                                by Adrian Webb
  The lower Mersey is still holding some large browns (and med.to small) where as the upper reaches size and numbers have declined quite a lot from previous seasons. One thing though is the condition of the fish, and from what I have caught all have been very good. Many of the rivers that I know like the back of my hand and always gave up a good catch of fish ( 15-20 plus over 500mtrs ) are now only giving up 4 or 5 fish. My catch rate in my report may look good and probably is a reasonable one, but I am covering a lot more distance in a river now than other years. So yes the rivers have dropped off from previous years that's for sure, but they will come good again and only if we can get back to the rains that we used to have throughout the seasons. I think since our weather pattern has changed from previous years with drier Autumns, Winters, Springs and rains during December and January it hasn't helped at all. The lower river levels plus the invasion of Cormorants have made them what they are today. Well that's what I think was the just beginning to the situation of many rivers around the state.
**The Meander River was fishing very well in the 2010-11 and in 11 trips here I caught 183 browns and 23 rainbows an ave. of 18.73 fish. **The 2011-12 season up to December 31st the Meander gave up 158 browns and 8 rainbows plus a surprise catch of 1 brook trout in 14 trips an ave. of 11.85 fish. The next 8 trips to this river I caught 57 browns and 6 rainbows an ave. of  7.88 fish so the latter half of the season was down. I have put this down to the problem caused by the turbine being out of action for around 6-8 weeks I think is was, thus reducing the river to a very low level. Sections of the river that was previously above knee depth was then well below them. Then with the heavy influx of cormorants that hit this river system I am sure they did have a big impact to the Meander and its tributaries.
 
  ** The Mersey River for the 2010-11 season as follows:
   One thing I did do this year was to cut down on the  number of trips to the rivers that I fish and this helped considerably, but it did effect my seasons catch. The majority of rivers fished  pretty well during  the season and the fish were in very good condition,I feel this was due to the good rainfalls that we had on and off over several months. This helped to keep river levels up and kept them in good condition for fishing. Several rivers that I fish have changed from previous years from being rocky and slippery to a nice fine gravelly bottom that made life a bit easier for wading. Only one river that I fish on a regular basis didn't change for the better and the fishing was not as good as previous years. This was the Mersey River, it stayed slippery for the majority of the season and there seemed to be fewer fish about. The fish that I did catch were all nice plump fish though, but just not as plentiful. The floods in January did at least get rid off the weed growth that was becoming a problem in some sections around Weegena above and below  Dylans Bridge. Kimberly was one of the better sections of the Mersey that did produce some good fish, but it wasn't consistant. The Merseylea area was much the same, and up around Liena the fish were about but small in size. So in 29 trips to various areas along the Mersey  my catch was 88 browns and 28 rainbows. Last season (2009-10 ) I had 72 trips and caught 493 browns & 87 rainbows,  that's an average of 8 fish per trip compared to this season of 4 per trip. So there was a 50% drop in my catch, but I did have a lot less trips for the 2010-11 season.
 **  In 2011-12 season  there was a big decline in the total catch as I had 21 trips to the Mersey and could only manage 38 browns, 19 rainbows ave. 2.71fish.. From Aug.6th to December 31st-2011 in 15 trips I caught 33 browns, 11 rainbows  ave. of 2.93 fish. Then from 1st Jan - 29th  April in 5 trips I caught 5 browns, 8 rainbows ave.2.6 fish. I did see many cormorants on this river during the later half of the season and they may have had some effect on the results as they had been working several sections of river ahead of me on a few trips. This was mainly in the Kimberley Merseylea  area. The river from Mole Creek up to Liena hardly gave up a fish and when it did they were very small. I did not come across a lot of cormorants from the Union Bridge up to Liena in my few trips to the area. So I can't say that they were to blame for the decline in fish stocks in the upper river.
   ** The Leven River  2010-11 season fished very well to 31st Dec, where in 4 trips it gave up 65 browns ave. 16.25 fish, and in the second half of the season gave up 80 browns in 5 trips ave.16 fish.
 In the 9 trips to the Leven I don't recall seeing any cormorants at all on the system.                                 ** The  2011-12 season was the complete opposite with the fishing and cormorants as I sited many birds in most sections of the river in the Gunns Plains area. The first half of the season I had 5 trips and only managed 12 browns and then the second half of the season 3 trips produced 10 fish. The river was low but still in very good condition and maybe the lack of some back up rains may have had an effect on the fishing on this river. I do know  many that fish the Leven on a regular basis were complaining about the cormorants on it. The low water makes the fish easy picking for them too.
 
 As for the Dasher and Wilmot Rivers these have been hit hard by the cormorants in the  last and also this season as I have seen many of them on these two rivers. The Minnow River that I thought was starting to recover from a few years back when many fish died from low water, has also gone backwards once again. Not from cormorants from what I can gather as I have not spotted any on the river at all. I think it's just from the lack of back up rains as it relies on, water from Mt Roland and the smaller creeks and springs that flow into it. Plantations along the majority of this river has had a big impact on it as once these trees starting to get bigger in size the small tributaries to the Minnow started drying up. I remember a couple of season ago talking to a property owner at Beaulah who scooped around 80 dead and dying browns from the river along his property.
 

 ** So from what I have encountered with the 2012-13 Season so far is that, yes the fishing is down and I would think partly to blame is from what I mentioned at the beginning of this survey. Cormorants have had an effect on many rivers over the last couple of seasons, the 2011-12 being the worst. The weather conditions that have been so in-consistant for a few years now has had the biggest impact from my point of view. Maybe the lack of restocking several rivers from time to time ( maybe every 2nd season) with a few (50 pairs) adult fish at the close of each season could also have been the cause to a slow decline of fish stocks. I'm no expert either and these are just a few things that I think may have been the cause of the problem today.
 Hope this info and report etc may be of some help to you and the IFS Dept.


                                                                                                                      Cheers Adrian.
 
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 04:25:32 pm by BrownTrout »
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meppstas

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 04:06:34 pm »
This survey is now closed and thanks to those of you who gave me your input to this survey. I have sent a twenty page report to the IFS Dept.
cheers Adrian
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Trophyman

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2013, 07:28:56 am »
Good comprehensive report Adrian, I rekon you deserve a free lisence next season for your efforts !! grin1




sinister131

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2013, 04:16:36 pm »
hey adrian just wondering if you know if the electro boat is coming to any river around burnie/wynyard area?

meppstas

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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2013, 09:41:00 pm »
The IFS were doing the Leven, Mersey, Meander, Minnow,Dasher Rivers in the North and a few in the South. As far as i know they are not going any further than the Leven River at this stage.
cheers Adrian
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sinister131

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« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2013, 11:17:15 pm »
Ah shame, I guess they can only do so much at once, thanks for the info  thumbsup1

McFly

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SURVEY OF RIVER FISHERIES & THE IMPACT OF CORMORANTS
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2013, 06:09:31 am »
Just spent a week out in the western lakes and didn't see many fish at all.  shame1

Could have been the weather but I reckon the cormorants have had a go at the small, shallow tarns and lagoons up that way as well. Anyone else noticed a difference out west??  think1 think1

 

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