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Sea runners - Early Season Excitement - Christopher Bassano

Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.

The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.

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A new boat launching ramp has been developed to help recreational boaters and anglers enter yingina/Great Lake at lower water levels.

Hydro Tasmania and the Inland Fisheries Service have developed the new launching ramp at Boundary Bay, at a shared cost of $15,000.

The new ramp is about 300 metres east of the existing Boundary Bay launching area, and allows boats to be launched safely and efficiently when water levels in yingina/Great Lake are as low as 18.9 metres from full (the lake is currently about 17m from full).

The other five official boat ramps on yingina/Great Lake have been closed since December or January because of low water levels associated with Tasmania’s energy challenges.

The existing Boundary Bay launching area has remained open during that time (because it allows lower-level launching than the other five yingina/Great Lake ramps). However, even there, launching conditions have been marginal and challenging, particularly for bigger boats or two-wheel-drive vehicles.

Meanwhile, Hydro Tasmania is pleased to announce that four boat ramps have now been re-opened at other locations.

On Lake Burbury, the Darwin Dam, Lake Burbury camp ground and Thureau Hills have been re-opened. The Lake Gairdner boat ramp is also back in action.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said the corporation understands the vital importance of its lakes for recreational boaters.

“Tasmania has some beautiful lifestyle advantages, and boating and angling on our lakes are special examples,” Mr Davy said.

“Boat operators have been very patient since our ramps were closed over summer. We’re pleased to invest in this new facility as a means of repaying that patience and getting boaters and fishers back to what they love as early as possible,” he said.

The Director of the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS), John Diggle, said it’s particularly important for anglers to have boat access to yingina/Great Lake.

“yingina/Great Lake is one of Tasmania’s most popular fisheries. It’s open to angling all year round and supports many tourism businesses and local shack owners,” Mr Diggle said.

The General Manager of Recreational Boating Safety and Facilities for Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST), Peter Hopkins, reminded boaters that lake levels are still low.

“Care should be taken with objects that may now be just under water. And with winter approaching, anglers are reminded to wear life jackets and to make themselves aware of cold water immersion issues,” Mr Hopkins said.

Boundary Bay is on the western shore of yingina/Great Lake. It’s about seven kilometres north of the Marlborough Highway (B11) intersection with the Lake Highway (A5).

Hydro Tasmania’s Manager of Production and Maintenance, Jesse Clark, said water levels are now high enough to re-open the boat ramps at Darwin Dam, Lake Burbury camp ground and Thureau Hills (all on Lake Burbury), as well as the Lake Gairdner ramp.

“The strong recent rainfall has replenished these lakes and allowed us to re-open these ramps,” Mr Clark said.

“We’re sure there’ll be great enthusiasm from boaters and anglers after a difficult summer and autumn where access was severely restricted. We ask everyone to please respect other boaters and ensure vehicles and trailers are parked well clear of the launching area,” he said.

The other five boat ramps on yingina/Great Lake will remain closed until the water level is suitable, along with the Dam Wall ramp at Lake Echo. Hydro Tasmania is Australia’s largest water manager, and collaborates with MAST and the IFS to allow safe access to Tasmanian lakes and waterways. There’s more information about Hydro Tasmania’s boat ramps at http://www.hydro.com.au/community/recreational-sites. For any boat ramp enquiries, please contact Hydro Tasmania on 1300 360441 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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