by Sarah Graham
Many anglers are preparing for the opening of the new angling season on Saturday 7 August and it's shaping up to be another good one with the fishery in excellent health as a result of last year’s drought breaking rains. There are many great fishing locations around the State from which to choose for the opening weekend and early season fishing but here are a few suggestions.
South Riana Dam has become recognised as a boutique fishery in the north west. Since its creation in 2015 the dam has developed in to an excellent regional water with its convenient location just 20 km from Penguin.
Regular stocking with wild brown trout fry by the IFS has underpinned the existing trout population and some natural recruitment. Anglers are taking well-conditioned fish using all methods including bait fishing, lure casting and fly fishing.
Canoes and Kayaks are permitted and can assist anglers to access the northern and western shores of the dam.
The calamari and squid fisheries will be closed to recreational and commercial fishing on Tasmania's north coast from 1 - 31 October 2019 inclusive to protect spawning calamari.
During the closure period, taking or possessing calamari and other squid species is prohibited in the closed area. Squid that has been commercially purchased can be used for bait.
The conditions for trout fishing today couldn't have been better with a clear sky and hardly any breeze, it was a beautiful day. I had a few things to do during the morning so I couldn't get to the water until after 2:00pm, I was in it by 2:35, it was still running on the high side and a cool 3 degrees. This trip as like all my trips so far this season was to a small tannin stream, mainly because they're the only ones that are low enough to hop in for a spin session. Not only that, they're giving up a few trout where as reports from those fishing the larger rivers aren't all that flash.
Very cold blustery conditions today and again tomorrow had me thinking there wouldn't be any trout fishing going on for me until around Thursday or Friday. At 1:30pm the wind was only blowing around 10 kph & the air temp was hitting 11 degrees so that was enough to get me off my backside, grab the fishing gear and head of to a small tannin water for a spin session. The large rivers were still running on the high side so really the small streams are my only alternative for now. No sooner had I hit the water at 2:00pm up came the wind, and it hit with force, very strong hard wind gusts that would have been in the 25-30 kph range.
The first month of the brown trout season has started very well with excellent fishing reports coming from around the state.
In the south, the River Derwent is producing some lovely resident and sea run trout after a high water event in late August. Lure anglers seem to be making the most of this estuary fishing although not much whitebait has been seen. The Tyenna River has also fished well and is always a consistent performer for all forms of fishing at this time of year when water levels permit. Large fish were caught at Rostrevor Lagoon during the opening weeks and this should continue with the rain that is forecast.
On the east coast, Tooms Lake and Lake Leake are very low but should receive and boat anglers must be mindful of submerged logs and stumps. With a large easterly weather pattern hitting the state, these lakes could be the pick of the waters when levels rise. Expect bigger than average fish and plenty of them.
The IFS recently undertook an in-lake survey at Curries River Reservoir in the states north east. The reservoir is located just off the B82 between George Town and Bridport and was built in the late 1970’s as a domestic water supply for Georgetown.
The IFS have been stocking the reservoir since the 1980’s and it is currently managed as a trophy fishery. In 2019, 400 rainbow trout and 1,175 fin clipped adult brown trout were released. The fin clipped fish were released to form the basis of a population estimate based on recapture numbers and will give us information on growth rates if surveys are conducted at the reservoir in future years.
While the final results from our survey are currently being analysed, results appear to indicate that the existing population of trout is quite low. In total over the two days using 80 traps, 97 brown trout were captured with 83 having fin clips which represents 87 percent. Over both days, 4 rainbow trout were captured. All of the fish were in good condition and the presence of large numbers of galaxiid suggests that trout should put on weight quickly.
Hydro Tasmania is holding a community session at Deloraine this week which will give the public an opportunity to meet with Hydro Tasmania representatives and learn more about the Battery of the Nation Project.
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I only realized a few days ago that during the 2019/20 trout season I will be going for my 10,000th trout since we moved to Tasmania back in March 2000.
With a total catch of 8,956 brown trout, 914 rainbow trout & 1 brook trout (total 9,871 trout) to the end of the 2018/19 season I only need 129 trout to reach it.
With 16 trout already caught & released in three trips I hope to catch another 113 by the end of October- early September providing the weather improves.
I have also set myself a target of 600 again for the 2019/20 trout season, same as I set last year & fell 27 short of the target. Will I reach it, who knows but I'll certainly be having a good crack at reaching it. Look forward to getting back into the rivers once the levels drop to a safe wading height and become a little warmer too.
PS - If you want to read Adrian's complete tally sheet, click HERE
Despite the rugged, cold conditions over the last few weeks, the Carp Management Program is starting to ramp up with gear preparations for the coming carp season. This involved inspecting and repairing the 14 kilometres of barrier net blocking carp spawning sites in the wetlands. Several kilometres of gill net was also repaired, which included both gill nets used in active fishing operations, as well as blocking gill nets to prevent carp from accessing the marshes.
Over the next few weeks, the big fyke nets will be sewn back into the barrier nets. These will be placed in strategic locations to catch any mature carp pushing into the shallows seeking spawning habitat. The secondary spawning protection gill nets will also be set behind the barrier nets.
More poor weather was forecast for later in the day so I was a little undecided whether or not to head off for another spin session in a small tannin stream. At the moment I'm staying away from the larger rivers due to the lack of trout being caught in them as well as the high water levels & water temps being so low. Not only that, I really do love fishing the little tight tannin streams, even though the trout may be small it's still a challenge finding them. In the end I got my act together & headed over to the same little stream I fished back on the 12th August where I caught a couple of browns on the Mepps #0 Aglia fluo rainbow trout coloured blade.
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Hello everyone, I thought it would be a good time to introduce myself.
My name is Stephen Smith and I have been managing the website tasfish.com since May 2009.
It has been an epic journey of learning and discovery and I am indebted to Mike Stevens for his help, support and patience.
I am developing a new venture Rubicon Web and Technology Training ( www.rwtt.com.au ). The focus is two part, to develop websites for individuals and small business and to train people to effectively use technology in their everyday lives.
Please contact me via www.rwtt.com.au/contact-me/ for further information - Stephen Smith.
Recently Atlantic salmon seems to be a very hot topic amongst local anglers, especially those in the south of the state in the D'Entrecasteaux area. Northern anglers should take a close look at the Tamar as there are opportunities here as well.
The recent "great escape" has provided a perfect opportunity for fresh and saltwater anglers alike to experience some truly memorable sport. Tasmania's pristine, clean and cool waters are the perfect nursery for the Atlantic Salmon and as our local fish farms produce more and more fresh quality seafood it is a fact that there are going to be tangible consequences.