IT CAN be difficult to find productive freshwater locations during the warmer months, with the current Summer particularly affected by the prolonged drought. The old adage ‘drought on the land means a drought in the water’ certainly applies to impoundments at the present, and Lake Samsonvale has not escaped the fallout of these difficult conditions.
For bass fisherman, this lake is shaping up very much as a Winter fishery, so this Summer has brought no surprises. Little has been known about the seasonal vagaries of this lake, but the Boating Access Scheme operated by the Pine Rivers Fish Management Association (PRFMA) is providing valuable data via the catch card program introduced in conjunction with the scheme. Data collected from the introduction of the scheme in May 2001 suggests targeting bass in Winter is more productive than the warmer periods. At this stage there is limited data available on the impact of water temperature on catch rates, although anecdotal evidence would suggest a surface temperature of 17C or lower is needed to really turn on the bass.
While the bass might have taken a Summer break, the PRFMA has been active in improving the fishery for boating permit holders, as well as for shore-based fishermen. The improvements include:
• Establishing a saratoga breeding program;
• Increased stocking rates, with more than 60,000 bass fingerlings released in December (the largest annual bass release since stocking began in 1990-91), along with other species such as Mary River cod;
• Site improvements, with significant work carried out on the boat ramp at the access site, thanks to the support of Boral Quarries at Petrie; and
• Ongoing improvements at the access site, including new picnic tables, improved drainage, tree planting, and general site maintenance.
The 2003/04 boating access scheme kicks off from the first weekend in May, so permit holders can launch straight into the prime bass season. Application forms for the boating access permits are now available from bait and tackle shops around Brisbane, or by contacting the PRFMA on 0417 742023. Applications close on March 28, with a limit of 300 permits issued. Anyone considering applying for the scheme for the first time is encouraged to attend an information session at the Strathpine Community Centre, Mecklem, Street Strathpine, at 7:30pm on Tuesday March 11. If you intend to lodge your permit application at te meeting, you’ll need to pay $100 for the permit, $10 for a refundable key deposit, and provide a photograph of yourself for the ID permit card.
1) Boat ramp improvements, courtesy of Boral Quarries at Petrie.Reads: 483