MACKAY’S three dams, Eungella, Kinchant, and Teemburra, have been topped up with further stocking to improve the already excellent fishing available.
The Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association (MAFSA) has purchased over 80,000 barra fingerlings with funds generated through the SIP scheme. These fingerlings were released into the three dams just before Christmas, and should be at or near legal size in about 12 months.
In addition to MAFSA’s stocking, DPI fisheries has also provided 25,000 barra bred at their Northern Fisheries complex in Cairns. These fish were delivered to MAFSA by Malcolm Pearce, the North Qld Fish Stocking liaison officer, and have been split between the dams.
MAFSA plans to purchase more barra fingerlings towards the end of Summer so that the policy of having distinct year/size classes of fish available in all three dams can be maintained. These latest stockings should ensure that the dams’ reputation for excellent catch rates is maintained, and that the fisheries will grow in economic and social importance to the area.
The MAFSA has started the rehabilitation of Sarina’s Plane Creek freshwater reaches by stocking 1500 barra fingerlings into three of the weirs. The Sarina Shire Council has supported the plan to restore barra to the town reaches of the creek because the fish cannot naturally get to these areas because of various weirs. Councillor John Airoldi and mayor Kevin Morgan were present at the release, along with State member Ted Malone.
The release is the culmination of nearly two years’ planning by MAFSA’s Bob Sutherland and councillor John Airoldi, and further stockings will become an annual event. Within 12 to 18 months there will be legal size barra available to anglers all through the town reaches of Plane Creek.
“This will give anglers another fishing option around Sarina and will help the town attract more tourists and give them another incentive to linger longer in Sarina,” John Airoldi said at the release.
“The long-term plan for the system is to have fishways built into each weir so that these structures will not continue to stop fish movement up and downstream,” he continued. “Eventually there should be no need for restocking.”
MAFSA in conjunction with the Sarina State High school is gearing up for more breeding of boney bream in 2003. Students will also grow out barra, and possibly other species, under MAFSA guidance as part of their marine studies course. – Keith Day.
1) The MAFSA has stocked more barra fingerlings into Eungella, Kinchant and Teemburra dams, and also into Sarina’s Plane Creek, pictured here.Reads: 1950