Codzilla back on the market
  |  First Published: December 2016

As the rivers are still extremely high and dirty at Mildura and cod opening is now upon us, it’s going to be hard work for the lure anglers amongst us within the Murray River.

Not only is the flow going to be a pain to battle though, but the clarity will also be a big problem, which will still take some time to settle. High quantities of debris are currently floating down the river, making the river dangerous to ski on.

The conditions have been declared as a minor flood, with Apex Park being completely inaccessible to the public. Apex Park has been lowered through Lock 11 and all its electronics have been removed to save damaging anything during the high river levels. Once the river settles, all the electronics will be put back in and everything return to normal, but this will take time.

Downstream of Euston Weir, which is upstream of Mildura’s Weir, the flow has increased to around 69,000ML per day. The flow at Euston and Mildura is expected to continue to rise but begin to steady around. The beginning of December.

At Wentworth Weir, just below the junction of the Murray and the Darling, the flow has been steadily climbing and has now reached 54,500 ML/day.

With the high rivers and dirty water, local anglers have been trying a different styles of fishing than the main river and resorting to areas such as billabongs, dams, creeks and impoundments. Recently, many anglers were doing a few miles to get the smiles chasing golden perch on bait in some creeks feeding Lake Victoria above Lock 9 and below Lock 7.

Perch thrive on the fast flowing water and push up into it, but once they reach a weir, they can’t climb it unless there is a fish ladder. Anglers understand this and take advantage of the situation as they goldens pile up below the weirs. This is acceptable if anglers follow the set out rules and regulations and only take what they need or are allowed.

Many cod anglers will be itching to get back out onto the water, but right now this is going to be hard. The elusive Murray cod will have had a great breeding season with the increased flow rates, so hopefully this isn’t going to be interrupted by the damaging black water. Black water occurs naturally during high rivers where water is pushed up into flood plains where the leaf litter within the flood plains draws oxygen out of the water, causing it to turn black. This process is damaging to fish stocks of the Murray and is a very bad naturally occurring event that is hard to stop. Small occurrences of this has already occurred in the Wakool River, so we can only hope that with the quantity of water this dilutes the de-oxygenated water and we don’t see the effects of it in the Mildura region.

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