The new inland sea
  |  First Published: April 2010

You could be forgiven for thinking you have discovered an inland sea when you see Lake Monduran. The lake has had a massive influx of water and has risen from 24% to 77% capacity.

This sudden inundation of water is very picturesque and while in the short-term it may diminish catches, the long term effects of more water will be great for anglers.

Before the latest dump of rain came we had already received a good amount rain. The countryside around the lake looked like it was fresh out of a New Zealand post card with grass more than 2ft long.

After the dam filled up these grasses were covered and will now start to break down under the water. I’m not sure of the full chemical break down but I understand this de-oxygenates the water, making the fish lethargic and not the robust hunters they normally are.

I recently spoke with Mathew Mott, who has a better understanding of the fresh water environment and its relationship to the average angler as he has encountered this on other dams in the past.

Motty explained this process pushes the fish into deeper fresher areas of the dam where they don’t feed as often while they adjust to the new conditions. He said the fish could take anywhere between six weeks to three months before they are back to normal.

Like many anglers, Motty isn’t the biggest fan of Monduran – he generally prefers to fish Lake Awoonga, which is where he cut his teeth as a barra fisherman.

His theory is because Lake Awoonga is a more open dam and is closer to the coast the prevailing coastal winds input more oxygen into the water.

My son and I travelled to Lake Awoonga, which is currently at 93% capacity after the rains, to experience some of the fishing..

We had a great weekend fishing at Awoonga and we caught four times the amount of fish that we would at Monduran on an average day.

Lake Awoonga has dealt with its recent influx of water well with weed growing back quickly and huge amounts of large bait thriving in these new environments.

In comparison Monduran has really suffered in the smaller creeks, such as the southern arm of B, where wind hasn’t been flushing clean water in. There is also an acrid sulphur smell coming from some of the more enclosed areas.

But this influx of water is good news for the future of Lake Monduran, these recent rains will help establish great weed beds that create the perfect habitat for fish and invertebrates.

The recent rains have also filled local dams and watered crops so hopefully the water level of the lake will stay constant during the months ahead.

We are still catching fish at Lake Monduran but for the month ahead it’s just a guessing game. I’m using every possible technique I know to catch fish but results are not great and we are putting in long days just to catch one fish.

The fish are in areas I would not expect them to be so try everything – surface lures, hardbodies and soft plastics.

Unless you’re prepared to put in the long hours I wouldn’t suggest fishing Monduran at the moment, but this may all change in the weeks ahead.

Call me on 0427 590 995 and I can keep you in the look and give you an up-to-date account of what’s going on.

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