View Full Version : Culling Big Impoundment Barra?

30-12-2002, 06:27 PM
I was wondering what people thought of keeping/killing the large dam barra. They dont breed and some say the cannibalise the smaller barra. Certainly some of the name FNQ impoundments you'd be ??lucky to get a small fish (<15lb).

This may because
1. there aren't many small fish
2. they grow rapidly
3. they are difficult to catch using normal big barra techniques.

Some authors say we should be killing all the big barra, but I always find this difficult to a kill a big trophy fish that is not for the table. I mean what do you do with 30kg of muddy freshwater barra?

Has anyone studied the survival of subsequent stockings?


30-12-2002, 07:13 PM
Hi George,
Mate there's been no real research into this. Some say the bigger fish are eating the littlies & why wouldn't they? They're all predators & will eat anything that they can A- catch & B- fit in their mouths. They don't care what species it is. Same for virtually all fish we stock, they're all predators & will eat each other.

One point to consider is that using the usual techniques doesn't seem to produce alot of smaller barra, even in the early days when the biggest barra in any of the dams was 50 or 60, they were hard to get any smaller than 45 or 50 cm, tho they were obviously there.
I know some of the nothern QFS people are working on a theory to only stock every second year to hopefully offset any possible canibalism. A fingerling is probably going to be too small for a 2 y/o fish to worry about or catch. The prob with this is that at some stage, those fingerlings have got to grow & will be big enough to eat/catch at some stage.

There's also these claims that the barra are eating out the Sooty Grunters. I'm yet to see any proof of this either. But many nervous nellies are using this as a reason to oppose any barra stocking south of the Mason/Dixon line some bright spark drew on the map at Maryborough.

Many folks (who should know better) don't mention that sooty grunter in high protein/still water environments such as dams with umpteen amounts of bony bream etc have a tendancy to get over-weight & can die from liver disease. This was found to be a real problem in the early days of farming sooties for aquacutlure. This could well be a reason for the scarcity of sooties in some barra/sooty combined lakes.Until some real reseach is done on feeding habits/stomach content analysis etc, we're all simply guessing.
Another reason not alot of sooties being caught at these locations could be that when there's the chance of crossing swords with a meter + of barra, who would be chasing sooties? Not many I'd think. I know I don't. Its like going fishing for spangled perch at a bass lake like Somerset, few do it.

It's a shame that sooties are commonly only a by-catch at some barra lakes, but thats just the nature of fishing. Folks love to catch big fish.

On killing lake barra? Why not, a fair percentage of the big fish that get dragged over the gunwale for a piccy are probably going to die anyway. May as well get a feed. Its not as if they're endangered or cant be replaced. It's one of the main reasons we stock most lakes. They are put, grow and take. The big ones have done the job they were put there for; to be caught.



30-12-2002, 07:31 PM
Hi all,

For those that are interested whilst fishing Faust dam in Oct of this year caught up with George Voisey gun fly fisho he asked if I had ever eaten a freshwater Barra before after I bagged their eating qualities based on eating yellowbelly etc when I lived in the west I answered well barra no so he instructed The Big Fella and I to go and catch one which we did he instructed us to cut its throat and bleed it out then let it sit in a covered container for about 30 mins then put into ice when we got back to camp he filleted it and skinned it and removed the blood line in the flesh then cut the fillets into smaller and thinner fillets he then cokked them in a pan with Ghee(clarified butter) to say the least I was sceptical but let me tell you for a freshwater fish it tasted great and I wasn't even that hungry and The Big Fella fairly hooked in then thats probably no recommendation, just a little tip I thought some might be interested in trying with other freshwater fishes if you are inclined to eat the odd one.



31-12-2002, 05:20 AM
I've never eaten a big one, but the small ones are very good, the ones out of awoonga I ate were not muddie at all, From what I've heard the bigger they get in the fresh the rougher the taste, there should be a salvos or something set up near the big barra dams to drop em off if needs be.


03-01-2003, 01:19 PM
While many believe in the culling of big barra so the young fingerlings can grow up, i hate to see them wasted , if your going to kill them, then eat it,
If not, then release it in good enough condition to survive.
The only reason i go to the impoundments such as Tinaroo is to catch big barra. Big barra IMHO are the draw card of these dams. i reckon keep releasing those drawcard fish and let see how big these fellas get.

As for fingerlings they should be grown out to a larger sizes.
At the present i wonder who eats the most fingerling....?
1)The larger barra.
2)The masses of comorants.
Or 3) The millions of Mouth almighty's.

My money is on the mouths..

A lot more education about handling big fish is need too , as to ensure a better survival rates of fish released, and also for the safety of the angler.
As Alf Hogan has said," let see who will be the first to wear a big barra spine through the throat". (check out all those photos of anglers holding fish, it going to happen one day)


04-01-2003, 03:24 AM
Your the man. ;D
From fishing with finger to giving cooking tips.What next.Your own fishing show. ;D
Have happy new year.
cheers big george. ;)
PS. did you ever release that video on fishing plastics.???

09-01-2003, 03:31 PM
I reckon ya need to get a slot size going, to limit the amount of big apex preadtors in there. they do eat each other as it is known by the locals that a small barra as live bait works just as well as a mullet if not better for absoulte horses, not real cool but hey it shows they eat em.

I used to think most of em died but unless there is a huge croc pop then they should be okay just a tad sick and sore for a while.

Freshwater barra is ok to eat have eaten heaps and heaps. The reason I like saly ones better is ya only need bleed and cut em thats it. With freshwater ones you need to do stuff like bomber has said try and get as much blood out before icing it. Also if you freeze the fish and defrost it using sea water, this makes it hard to tell the difference between salt and fresh fish especially if the mud line has been taken out.

I reckon you should limit the amount of real big fish, just makes sence bythe way barra breed and feed, i.e pretty fast and lots of food...