Cod are playing hide and seek, and winning
  |  First Published: April 2017

Golden perch and yabbies are still keeping anglers busy around the region with decent hauls reported. Golden perch have still been providing a lot of enjoyment for local anglers and the elusive Murray cod has lived up to its reputation.

Cod anglers have been working hard to even get hit by these magnificent fish and people are now starting to ask more questions about how much the black water did effect the Murray River. There are many conspiracy theories about the black water event and the effects it had. This is causing many conflicting views and arguments between fishers and groups within the region.

Some believe it has killed the majority of the fish within the system, with the large ones suffering the most. Large fish around the age of 6+ years old (over a metre in length) are less fit, need more oxygen to function and are more vulnerable to the changing river conditions that we have experienced late last year.

Black water is a natural phenomenon that occurred this time with an increased intensity, as we have not had a flood into the regions that got saturated by water and were inundated with leaf litter from over 20 years. People are asking, how come this didn’t occur 20 years ago? How come we never had fish kills like this before?

The answer is there were more floods 20 years ago, and more recent flooding means less leaf litter as it gets washed away. Less carbon is built up on the flood plains. It’s been over 20 years since these areas have had water and this is because we haven’t had high amounts of rainfall like we have experienced lately.

The flood last year was the first real flood I have seen and I am 22 years of age. This is the real problem – less frequent flooding of floodplains. The system and floodplains haven’t been flushed since I’ve been alive. Fish kills were of a higher number, as the intensity of the event was more.

Black water is a horrible occurrence that has had an impact on the system. Many haven’t pulled the cod lures out for a while due to what has happened, though there are still big green backs out there to be caught, appreciated, looked after and returned back into the water.

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