FOR most recreational anglers, it’s difficult to find the time to get away from work and other commitments. Add in travel time, delays at boat ramps, fitting in with tides, cleaning up after the fishing session, and it’s no wonder that a short trip to an uncrowded freshwater destination is like a dream!
Such a destination is Lake Samsonvale, located in the Pine Rivers Shire just north of Brisbane. Easy access is one of the many attractions of this impoundment, which has a growing reputation for the size and variety of its fish. The Lake, formed by the construction of the North Pine Dam, offers fishing opportunities for all ages, with both shore-based and boating access available.
Stocking is carried by the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association (PRFMA), under a license agreement with the owners, SEQ Water. The PRFMA has stocked Australian bass, golden perch, silver perch, saratoga and Mary River cod over the past 10 years, with over one million fingerlings released into the lake. Redclaw crayfish, along with spangled perch, gar and tilapia, all add to the attraction of this fishery.
There are rumours of bass in excess of 70cm succumbing to surprised anglers, and confirmed reports of this fine fighting fish busting the 60cm mark, with a 68cm snodger recently landed. 50cm bass hardly rate a mention!
Golden perch (yellowbelly) aren’t taken in great numbers, but fish pulling the scales at 5kg make up for the limited quantities. These fish are often picked up while fishing for bass, but those fishos who specifically target yellows are more richly rewarded.
To diversity the fishing opportunities in the lake, the PRFMA has begun a saratoga breeding program (see QFM December 2002). With support from Boral Quarries at Petrie, the Association hopes that this program will result in the release of large numbers of these magnificent fish into the lake.
The major source of funding for the PRFMA’s stocking are the boating access permits. This scheme allows the issue of a maximum of 300 permits, available to anyone over 16 years of age. 12-month permits for 2003/04 will soon be available for $100 (plus a $10 refundable key deposit) and will operate from Sunday May 4, 2003.
The permit allows access to a defined section of the lake, with approximately 8km of water available. Given that manual or electric power are the only means of propulsion allowed, this stretch of water represents about the limit of range desirable (there’s nothing worse than a long row home against the wind with a flat battery).
Permit holders are issued a key to access the site, a photo permit card, and craft identification stickers. All holders are also required to sign a Deed of Agreement which outlines SEQ Water regulations to maintain water quality, respecting the rights of lease holders around the lake, and safety regulations on the site. The Association also requires permit holders to fill out catch cards to help us collect data to aid future stocking decisions.
You can get to the Boating Access site via Adsetts Rd, off Dayboro Rd, around 6.5km from Petrie. There are launch and parking facilities at the site, and the PRFMA maintains the site regularly. Boral Quarries has provided invaluable support for the site’s development, which has been called ‘Boral Landing’ in recognition of their efforts.
You’ll find information on the Boating Access Scheme, as well as application forms, at many bait and tackle stores and marine outlets around Brisbane. Alternatively, you can contact the PRFMA on 0417 742 023.
Anglers considering making an application are encouraged to attend a public meeting at the Strathpine Community Centre, Mecklem Street, Strathpine at 7.30pm on Tuesday, March 11. If you intend to lodge your permit application at this meeting, you’ll be required to pay the $110 fee and provide a photograph of yourself for the ID card. Permit applications close on Friday March 28. If we receive more than 300 applications, the selection will be decided by a ‘balloting out’ conducted publicly at Bullockys Rest recreation area at Lake Samsonvale at 9am Saturday, April 12, 2003.
You can contact the PRFMA at any time on 0417 742 023, or e-mail --e-mail address hidden-- – Noel Frost.Reads: 829