View Full Version : Somerset. Most fished dam in Qld!!

31-08-2001, 05:55 AM
Some more interesting info that was given to me last weekend.
Lake Somerset is the 4th most fished body of water in Qld. Not just freshwater, all water. :o
Just goes to show how much fishing pressure this place gets & how popular freshwater fishing is.
Information came from QFS survey. Am waiting for a copy of the report myself.

03-09-2001, 06:22 AM
Very interesting mate. With this level of fishing pressure, its a good thing the SIP is now on-line.

I`d be interested in your opinion re: vegitation project on lake surrounds.
As we are all aware, Sommerset is largely devoid of suitable edge cover and resident weed. Its an open bowl and fish favour the depths mostly. There is evidence of serious errosion in selected areas around its circuference and the banks need to be re-vegitated. I know that Mark Thompson was drafting a revegitation plan, but has this gone any further at this point?

It has been brought to my attention that revegitation could be just as important to the fishery than the fish themselves.

Imagine in 5 years time casting to weedbeds or bank cover with large poppers and getting slammed by 100cm Barra!!

Yeah Baby.

Regards, Randall.

18-10-2001, 05:21 PM
;) Gotta be happy about that prospect! Get some work for the dole doods out there planting trees and pampering them fish! Fish on!

18-10-2001, 06:16 PM
the first step and there often the biggest step for any reveg thing like this is to fence off all stock from the waters edge and create a buffer zone. The farmers out there won't be too happy about that. If that could be achieved then a revege plan would be able to be considered. Its a extremely complex and costly thing.

But a worthwhile thing all the same.



19-10-2001, 01:55 PM
Farmers to fence off access to the water and create a buffer zone.

It's a great idea but if we want that sort of thing, we can expect to have to provide help (ie $$$$$) to the farmers to get it done.

Fencing long water frontages cost heaps not to mention pumps to provide water, maintenance, etc, etc.

I can't see the govt changing the law to compel farmers to do this (political suicide).

What are the benefits to the landowners as well as the fish??

Are the benefits worthwhile enough to divert some of the SIP $$ to achieve this !!!

I admit, it would be great to see the banks of Sommerset (and others) covered in natural vegetation.


19-10-2001, 03:41 PM
Hi Luc,
I can't see the edge of the water being any different to any other boundary. So why not fence it.
Also, why should anglers have to subsidise farmers to fix a couple of centuries of bad farming practices to get these problems fixed.
I bet there would be fences along all water ways if there were crocs in the water or cattle couldn't swim. Bet me left one on that mate.
Why, for example at Lake Wivenhoe, are anglers not allowed outboard motors for water quality reasons, & cattle are readily allowed to wade into the water to drink, thus eroding the bank & making the water muddier & the associated problems that then arrise. Not to mention that cattle leave thier wastes in & around the water. I'll tell you Luc, double bloody standards that's why.
Farmers get a say as to policy around these lakes, yet we, the end comsumers of this water have no say, nor do the anglers.
We need to fight for recognition as equal shareholders in our waterways.
Gettin back to the riparion vegetation, why not plant some melaeluca trees around the lake shores & watch them take over the banks in short order, that'll keep the cattle back & hold the banks together at the same time.



19-10-2001, 09:17 PM
Hi Fitzy,

I fully agree with your comments, but at the end of the day, if we want to reforest the lakes/dams shores, we're going to have to take some definite action or it will be another talkfest and feel good pretend actions.

It's a real joke with no ob's in Wivenhoe. We have the same in lake Samsonvale and yet, I have see one dead very ripe cow in the water (admitedly some years ago).

I wonder what the ranger would do at Wivenhoe if someone turned up with one of those American swamp boat powered by a aircraft propeller!!. The engine would be air cooled so nothing goes in the water.

I'd like to see what would happen if one or more person drowned in Wyvenhoe because all they had was electric power and if they had an ob no one would have been hurt. Nothing like sueing for lack of due care!!

Personally, if I'm fishing Wyvenhoe and my fishing buddy gets hurt or the weather turns to s--t, I'd have no problems firing up the 4stroke.


19-10-2001, 09:34 PM
I understand that the ranger at Wivenhoe toddles around in an outboard powered shark cat. I don't think water quality is an issue; as long as the people of Ipswich and everyone else living along the Stanley, Brisbane and Bremer rivers keep flushing their loos, we in Brissie will have something to drink. It was suggested to me by a skinny bloke called Warren S that the reason for no outboards on Wivenhoe had to do with liability concerns arising from standing timber and a wineglass shaped lake bed.

20-10-2001, 06:12 AM
Hi Rick,
Yep the rangers do fly around in a cat there, they've also got about a 4.5 meter tinny with a 4 stroke on the rump.
Standing timber? Have you been there Rick? There about 0.5% of the timber that Somersault has as it was deforrested prior to filling. Doesn't seem to worry them at SSet.
I take it you assume that sewage/grey water runs into these lakes, no likely mate.
Wine Glass? Can't see the wine glass in the map below.

Over the years we've heard plenty of excuses from SEQWB for no O/Bs eg waves & resulting soil/bank errosion, noise, water quality, whinging farmers, & one ex governor general living on the lake shores in a 1000 acre ranch that the tax payers funded. I've also had someone pass the buck to Sir Joh BP for they way his govt wrote up the original legislation.
One things for sure ,the new corportate entity doesn't pussy foot around, they simply say "it aint happening" & that's that.


20-10-2001, 08:24 AM
Hello Fitzy,
the family's been in the Native plant industry for years. You are right about revegetation and the need to stop soil erosion around dams or wherever for that matter. It is probably not as big a job as people would like to believe. Planting juvenile native trees in an area will take no time to set down good root systems and save the banks further erosion and will grow large as natural boundaries quickly because of the fact they are native. Not to mention the wildlife it attracts out of the water as you know. Got to keep the stock away from the juveniles though??
Cheers Luke

20-10-2001, 12:56 PM
Hi Luke,
Not just talking here mate, these things have already been started. Needs alot more help tho, if we are to see some significant improvments in the near future.
Would be good to talk privately about some tips on propogating various natives, as the cost from commercial/retail nursuries costs alot. ::)

And they think fishing is just about catching fish. ;)


20-10-2001, 03:03 PM
No worries Fitzy,
Good to hear it's already started. Send me an email on what you are looking for. Would be a slow process as most plants would have to come from seed rather than cuttings but worth it after a year or so's work. Nice to see them years down the track though and think that you helped start it. Fitz, it would help to identify what plants grow well locally already in the areas that you are working in as they are the ones that will thrive. Wattles,Melaleucas,Gums and Callistemons(weeping bottlebrush) are what I am thinking but like I say depends on what's local as to the best chances. I will help out with this and that's not just talk so give us a hoy on any info you need. Don't mind digging holes either.

20-10-2001, 06:23 PM
Am trialing 2 different Melaelucas in the area at present to see how they go. There are plenty of calistemons (bottle brush) in the area but they are quite slow to colonise new areas. Tea trees spread about the quickest of them all & are native to the region so I recon these are the best option.
The main thing to consider is how far above/below high water level is best & the most suitable soil types.
I don't mind propogating the best ones, but may need a few pointers to get best results.
Imagine country like this locally!
Will contact you via email when I'm geared up a bit more.



21-10-2001, 08:15 AM
Long time between drinks that I see habitat like that but with a bit of time and preparation it wouldn't take too long.There is a show on channel 7 tonight called"Bulldust and Barbewire Fences" and from what I can gather it's about farmers realising mistakes made with allowing stock access to waterways and the benefits that revegetation has to farmers aswell with eg:erosion,rodent control etc.

03-11-2001, 01:02 PM
Unfair to pick on the farmers. They gave up their best land to be flooded. The dam waters came up the hills to them they did move to the dam waters. They were there first.

As for fencing, well its at least $1000 per Km. Not too bad, but there are probably 3-400 km of shore line at wivenhoe and another 200-300 at Som. If the fish stocking groups and enviromentalists want to find $500,000 to pay for the fencing I'm sure the farmers would provide the upkeep cost.

It probably even questionable if we would see any benefit from out $500,000. The stock would have preferred watering points so probably only worry about 10% of the lake shores. As for cattle crapping in the dam, you would have to stop cattle crapping in the entire catchment, 100+km from the dam. And then you have to stop the fish crapping in the dam, the birds that eat the fish crapping in the dam, the koala in the Connondale ranges crapping etc...

It seems to me the best (only realist idea) would be to plant a vegetation buffer. It won't stop the cattle completely but it will funnell then to sacraficial areas. It will provide habitat for animals and fish, and should severely limit wave erosion (boat and more importantly wind generated).

03-11-2001, 05:09 PM
Hi JC,
Agree with the vegetation buffer zone as the prefered choice.
In regard to resupmion of land for lakes, farmers were compensated for lost land. And they only own land to a boundary ABOVE the high water mark, this does not mean cattle up to thier guts turning foreshores to sludge when water levels drop is an acceptable practice.
What about th farmer next door, he pays the same rates yet can't quietly slip a pump into the lake at night for irrigation or have a permanent water source for his split hoofed bovine provided by tax payers.
JC I know you're from the land, same here. I've seen the waters of the once mighty Moonie River turn into nothing more than a shallow muddy creek due to bad farming practices. Our fragile land & particularly our waterways can't handle another couple of centuries of rape, pillage and European farming practices.
There are some great alternatives such as cell farming, minimal till or no till & the re-establishment of remnant forrests that actually help the soil. Split hooved animals in Oz have alot to answer for as well (yet another hand me down from Europe). Nuthing wrong with a feed of croc or roo.
Also on the subject of crap, if cattle crap on land, that great little critter imported from India called the bung bettle uses it to feed thier larvae.
Anyway, we transgress, I recon the planting of some buffer zones of colistemon and melaeluca would be good for bank stability and water quality.


03-11-2001, 05:19 PM
;) Yeah! More trees rock! Let's get some revegetation happening. Keep the moo cows in the paddock. Hmm, steak is good though!

04-11-2001, 10:34 AM
I'm not looking for an argument Fitzy. I'm all for land preservation, the organisation I work for is a massive multi-million dollar national experiment for establishing sustainable grazing systems (southern Aus anyway from WA to Armidale). Our systems are inappropriate and there are too many old timers that just flog the crap out of their places year after year and destroy it in a drought!

I just think the tree solution is superior to the fencing one. It won't cost much more, will be self replacing and will provide protection & habitat for most of the foreshore. If we want it fenced we should pay, I just don't see it as fair to impose the fencing costs on the graziers. Like I said the lake came up the hill to them not the other way around, if Sunwater wanted it refenced they should have included compensation to fence it when they reposed the land, but no doubt were too cheap. If the graziers pay for watering equipment, we pay for the fences. I'm talking about stock water, I'm not talking about those that irrigate because thats Sunwaters problem.

To me its different to a river were the river was there first, I'd like to see river banks fenced off. The problem is the gov sold the land with grazing rights on the banks and is too cheap to compensate farmers for fencing it off, or buy back the rights. That should be done, with all of the stock watering equipment available we don't need all of those exposed banks. In Great Britain their gov loves to pay big money farmers to do nothing, a bit that would be great over here!

Thats why I have to laugh at Kim Beasleys $140m anti-salinity scheme. Its an outright joke, its like try fix a severed leg with one bandaid. Land repair in this country is going to take at least $3b a year for at least 10 years to see any noticable improvement. The only way thats going to happen is if the Gov adds a $150 per person per year levy to our food bills. That would be really popular with families with 3 kids ($750 a year)! Mr & Mrs Joe Average want clean green food, they just don't want to pay for it.

One the researchers is aiming to get as close to 100% rainfall utilisation as possible. He has already manage to reduce runoff (soil errosion and nutrient loss) but between 70-90%. Not good news for river flows but great news for landcare. If his theories become popular it could result in water shortages in the Murray! Bob Carr will have people covering their properties in cement to generate water. Right now he taxes them for rainfall on their properties. Ultimately it should end up as bad news for irrigators not fish. Gum trees can use much more water from soil profiles/rainfall than grass pastures, so it may just be reverting to the water flows of 100 years ago.

Like you, I agree that there are too many flaws in Australian grazing. Our rainfall is too eratic and our soils crapped out millions of years ago. This is why gums trees are such pests overseas. They absolutely dominate in places like California and places like Ethopia. The reason being Ethopia has been so buggered up that gum trees, with their ability cope with poor quality conditions, are able to outcompete the native competition.

04-11-2001, 04:23 PM
I can see your point with the gums but they are native and cope because of the erratic conditions Australia has
( and they are not a pest here unless they are in a suburban backyard). Not trying to pick on the graziers and it is obvious they are doing they're best now to look after the land more than ever before but with politics,money and all the other crap involved where do we go? The runoff problem? I'm at a loss and am unqaulified to speak more but would like to hear more please.
Cheers Luke

04-11-2001, 06:37 PM
Gum trees are a real pest when you've got a swimming pool that drives you crazy keeping it clean of leaves!! >:(

Apart from that, one of my first jobs was working in an tordoning/ring barking gang. (young & keen to travel). Could see a massive increase in grass growth after killing off the trees, but wouldn't do that sort of stuff now. Wish I never had done it actually. But the shooting/hunting was good & the pay was great! 8) Didn't like it when I got bit by a king brown fella an hours and a bit drive out of Townsville tho. Near died from shock. (young & silly. Will learn not to try to catch em the hard way)

07-11-2001, 12:02 PM
Completely fencing off the dam to cattle similar to Lake Samsonvale would be neccessary to create any sort of buffer zone that is going to be worth while otherwise the cattle will eat all of the grass, water weeds, lillypads, saplings, everything.
This became even more evident to me when recently fishing Eungella dam, in that on the small Islands in the dam which cattle cant get to there was good grass cover to the waters edge followed by a good lillypad margin then weed edge out from this where depth allowed. Everywhere else that cattle could get to the waters edge the water weed was surviving but the Lillypads were non-existant.
The bufferzone will limit the rate and amount at which the nutrients, sediment(erosion) etc. enter the dam with run-off. This will have an incredible benifical effect on water quality ie. less algae and sediment greater visibility and ultimately less cost to treat the water for our use.

most importantly it gives somewhere for our fingerlings to live while they grow and dodge birds and bigger fish

This is most suited to dams etc. with slowing changing water levels and margins that aren't shallow for long distances