Inspectors Reports for the Angling Season Opening Weekend Patrols

The weekend of 6-7 August this year marked the official start of the 2011-12 angling season. Traditionally, anglers eagerly await the opening of the season and fishing trips are planned well in advance regardless of the weather, which given the time of the year, is often inclement. It’s also an important working weekend for the Inland Fisheries Service. Inland fisheries inspectors undertake patrols throughout the State, visiting popular waters to interview anglers, check licences and enforce the regulations.

In general, the weather was pleasant on Saturday in the north and central regions but worsened considerably on Sunday. Close to 600 anglers’ licences were checked over the period from Friday night to Sunday. The level of satisfaction with the fishing was generally high and the number of offences low – with a total of six infringement notices being issued (two under MAST regulations for not wearing a PFD) and eight cautions.

The following reports from inspectors patrolling the South, North, North West and Central Highlands regions give the number of licences checked at particular waters, the fish caught at the time of checking and any offences detected. The reports are not intended to provide a complete picture of individual fishery performance but rather, a snapshot of the opening weekend from an enforcement perspective.

Derwent River and South
Waters visited in this region during the opening weekend included the River Derwent (71 anglers with 26 brown trout) on Saturday 6 August, and Tooms Lake (14 anglers with 14 rainbow trout), Lake Dulverton (2 anglers with 2 brown trout) and Craigbourne Dam (3 anglers, no fish) on Sunday 7 August. One infringement notice was issued for fishing without a licence and three verbal cautions were given for boating while not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).

The weather was inclement all weekend in the southern region. Angling participation on the River Derwent was about the same as last year but fewer anglers’ licences were checked because of the unfavorable boating conditions. Angler participation at Tooms Lake was busy on Saturday but most people packed up on Saturday evening and early Sunday due to the rainy weather. Hence only 14 anglers’ licences were checked on Sunday. Up to 20 anglers were reported at Lake Dulverton on Saturday but only two anglers’ licences were checked on Sunday. Three anglers’ licences were checked at Craigbourne on Sunday with no information on angler participation on Saturday.

North West and North Coast
A total of 144 anglers’ licences were checked over both days of the opening weekend in the North and North West regions. These were at Brushy Lagoon (22 anglers with 4 rainbow trout and 2 Atlantic salmon), Pet Dam (48 anglers with 4 brown trout, 2 rainbow trout and 82 undersized rainbow trout), Guide Dam (14 anglers with 10 brown trout and 20 rainbow trout undersize), Huntsman Lake (25 anglers with 11 brown trout), Four Springs (10 anglers with 2 brown and 2 rainbow trout), Meander River (6 anglers, no fish), Brumbys Creek (15 anglers with 3 brown trout), Lake River (2 anglers, no fish), Lake Dulverton (2 anglers, 1 brown trout), Tooms Lake and Lake King William. Three written cautions were given for undersize fish, one verbal caution was given for not having an up to date licence and one written caution for failing to wear a PFD.

Fine weather was experienced in the north of the State on Saturday with high visitation at the Pet Dam. A lot of undersize rainbows were being caught on worms at Pet Dam and education on release techniques was given to anglers. Huntsman Lake was well patronized. Big fish were being caught at Brushy from the stocking in the week prior but there was an amount of rubbish left around at this lagoon. Sunday was showery and cold. A small number of fish were being caught at Four Springs Lake. There were only a few anglers on the Meander and Macquarie rivers at the time of checking. There were slightly more anglers at Brumbys Creek, which continues to have a low flow, with several calling in to this water on their way home from the highlands. There were reports of nice fish of up to 2kg from Lake Dulverton.

Central Highlands (South)
A total of 157 anglers were checked in this region from Friday through to Sunday. Waters checked included Great Lake, Little Pine Lagoon (5 anglers with 12 brown trout), Pine Tier Lagoon (1 angler), Bronte Lagoon (40 anglers with 33 brown trout), Bradys Lake (51 anglers with 42 brown and 9 rainbow trout), Lake Binney (11 anglers with 9 brown trout), Tungatinah Lagoon (14 anglers with 11 brown and 6 rainbow trout), Lake Echo (11 anglers with 30 brown trout) and Lake King William. One verbal caution was given for a fisheries offence and 7 Assisting Officer Police offences were given.

The weather was fine on Saturday morning until midday but on Sunday there was light rain, drizzle and sleet. Camps at Tungatinah Lagoon which in previous years have been a concern for anti social behavior, discarded rubbish and 4WD vehicle and trail bike hooning, were not a problem on the opening weekend.

Central Highlands
A total of 106 anglers were checked on Saturday and Sunday, and a further 96 licences were checked on Friday before the season opened. Waters checked included Great Lake (2 anglers with 1 brown trout), Little Pine Lagoon (3 anglers with 6 brown trout), Arthurs Lake (79 anglers with 75 brown trout), Woods Lake (13 anglers with 1 brown trout) and Penstock Lagoon (9 anglers with 17 brown and 6 rainbow trout). Three infringement notices were issued for taking fish prior to the opening at Woods Lake and two infringement notices were issued for failing to wear a PFD at Arthurs Lake. An investigation into an offence allegedly committed at Arthurs Lake is continuing.

The weather was fine on Saturday but snowed on Sunday. Angling visitation was about the same as previous years. Penstock Lagoon fished well for good numbers of well conditioned fish. Little Pine Lagoon fished well as did Arthurs Lake, particularly for some anglers using bait and soft plastics in the Blue Lake, while Woods Lake fished poorly with poor conditioned fish. Fish were also caught from Lake Crescent with one at 4lb and one angler caught 5 rainbow trout from the Meander River with an average weight of 1lb.