View Full Version : Ross River?

12-01-2005, 07:48 PM
Can you fish from a boat in the upper Ross river (above blacks wier)? If so do you launch from the pioneer park ramp? or is there a ramp closer to the dam wall? what rigs would you recommend?
thanks nathan

13-01-2005, 05:44 AM
At the moment they're building the new bridge across to riverside gardens & they have filled in a causeway/service road, effectively cutting the weir in 2. They should be digging that out soon as the bridge is near done.

Not sure if the ramp at pioneer park is still open, haven't been there in a while. I heard they closed it to stop skiing because of low water.

regardless, go up the upper ross river road a few mile & turn down the little road to a park area called Loam Island, the ramp there is still open, was there just last week. it's not concrete, just loose laid bricks. Watch the drop at the end ;D

Most of this upper end is 6 knots, still be careful, water is low & a few prop dingers hiding under the water. Weed is incredibly thick in places, needs a bloody good flush out. Here's hoping for a decent wet.

Regular barra gear is fine. 4 to 6 kg, or 6 to 8 kg rod. 20 to 30lb braid. Not a real lot of structure to get stitched up in.

Poppers/fizzers or shallow lures like bombers stay above most of the weed. Some places you can dive Deeper across the face of the lilly pads. Early morning or evening seems best. Even well into the night is OK. Don't be too fussed on the moon phases, better to pick a time with as little wind as possible. #;D # #

13-01-2005, 06:37 AM
Dickos summed it up nicely. What do you plan to use Nathan? livies or lures?. Live baits are reliable but occasionally surface lures can be deadly in the weirs :o (especially on clam nights around the full moon). The Reidy's B52 lure takes its fair share of fish aswell.

Live baiting for weir barras requires similar tackle to their saltwater cousins but some slightly different rigs can be the way to go. One that I found to produce the goods consisted of a reasonably long trace with a free running float. The float and hook size would match the bait, often it would be a small float and 3/0 wide gap hook for the banded grunter. Mainline would usually be 30lb or 20lb braid, this will cut through the weeds when fighting barra and float on the surface when you are waiting for a fish.

I've attached a pic of a Gleeson's Weir barra from last year to give an idea of float size and leader length. This is just a basic rig for using banded grunter. If carrying in saltwater baits upgrading float size, hook size, and leader material is essential. I am missing the wiers already :P

13-01-2005, 08:24 AM
thanks for the info guy. i had some luck at aplins last year on livies but was thinking about trying some poppers up further at the next full moon. i`ll probly take a drive up there this evening to have a look.
once again thanks heaps!

13-01-2005, 08:48 AM
Another hint for bait fishing to a float is to put vasoline on your line from the rod to the float. This keeps the line floating on the surface of the water and retains a tight line to the float.

15-01-2005, 09:29 AM
Remember its still closed season on barra and its illegal to target Barra. People are getting caught fishing from loam Island at the moment..Using the lame excuse that your fishing for jacks won't cut it either as jacks have not been released into this section of the river...If your fishing in this section of the river with barra gear at the moment think twice and ask yourself is it really worth it...

15-01-2005, 10:09 AM
Very interested in hearing more details about people being fined. Have been away for a few weeks, haven't caught up with the local paper. #When did that happen ?

As this is a stocked impoundment, along with the likes of Faust & Tinaroo there is no chance of upsetting their breeding cycle, as they simply don't breed in the fresh.

I can't see a problem, legally or morally.

Salties, for sure, different story. Leave them breed in peace #;D #100% agree.

15-01-2005, 10:40 AM
Rules is Rules

15-01-2005, 10:43 AM
Tilapia might take a B52

15-01-2005, 10:52 AM
Rules is Rules

What an easy answer :D

So in the case of fish incapable of breeding, what are the rules trying to protect ?

15-01-2005, 11:12 AM
I agree it is a ridiculous rule...it is serving no purpose whatsoever. If anything targetting barra in the weirs is taking pressure off the saltwater breeders.

15-01-2005, 11:24 AM
Barra stocked in the fresh water section of the Ross do go over the weirs when it floods working their way downstream and those that go over Aplins weir land in the salt, thus becoming capable of breeding...

15-01-2005, 12:50 PM
Target Sleepy Cod, Wier is full of them, good fighter on a lure


17-01-2005, 07:24 AM

I'll try not to make comments as a formally qualified marine biologist, nor as a former fishing guide. I'll base my comments on having lived in Townsville for some years and having formerly been a long-time member of a large sprotfishing organisation.

It never ceased to amze me that people somehow feel the need to target one fish all year round, even in a closed season. I'll admit that targeting sleepy cod and other species is fine but given that large barra do go over Aplin's - like lambs to the slaughter, the more we can conserve for the future, the better.

Having also done a lot of tagging of barra in a southeast QLD river, I can confirm that the amount of closed season targeting of barra, even if it is tag and release, is doing damage to the fishery.

I do support the development of a system, for the Ross River, similar to that of other impoundments. Whilst I am not living in Townsville at the moment, all I can say is get on to Tony Mooney - quite a few people already are!

17-01-2005, 04:24 PM
Can anyone direct me to the legislation where it says directly that it's illegal to target ie "fish for" Barramundi in the closed season? All I ever seem to be able to find is "Take" or "Possess".

18-01-2005, 05:28 AM
This topic has come up a number of times on this forum. A couple of years ago, I started the same topic.
I'm not sure exactly who it was that posted at the time, but apparently the barra do go over the wall when it floods. They have tagged fish in the weirs (I'm not sure if it was just up to aplins or further upstream), that have been recaptured in hinchinbrook channel. Apparently, during spawning season, the females congregate into schools. Catching and releasing one can shut down the whole breeding cycle of the whole school.
As for the legislation, I think that the wording is "take", but they interpret the rule as "taking" meaning having in possesion, or actively targeting. I did i quick search on the site for the old forums, but as I said, the one that i started is now 2years old.

It's definately an interesting topic.


Derek Bullock
18-01-2005, 06:24 AM
Closed seasons are in the Fisheries Regulations



18-01-2005, 07:38 AM
The rules are no taking of Barra. Policing a rule about 'targeting' barra would be unworkable. This is designed to protect the saltwater breeders during their randy season.

Technically you could target barra in the salt during the closure, just not take them home. Most forward thinking people would consider that bad form. #As mentioned prior, Let the buggers breed in peace #;D.

Stocked impoundments are a different story. They dont breed. and therefore have exemptions from the closed season to reflect that fact.

This is from the DPI site,

Barramundi closed season exemptions
The exemption from the closed season for barramundi now includes 18 dams that have been stocked with barramundi:

East coast of Queensland: Awoonga, Burdekin Falls, Callide, Eungella, Fairbairn, Kinchant, Koombooloomba, Lenthalls, Monduran, Peter Faust, Teemburra, Tinaroo and Wuruma Dams.

Gulf of Carpentaria: East Leichhardt Dam and Lakes Belmore, Corella, Julius and Moondarra.
These 18 dams are exempt from the maximum size limit of 120 cm for barramundi.

A take and possession limit of 1 exists for barramundi > 120cm caught in these 18 dams/lakes throughout the year.

A take and possession limit of 1 exists for barramundi caught in the above 18 dams during the closed season ( this one barramundi can be > 120cm).

Recreational fishers may continue to fish in the above 18 dams/lakes while possessing their limit of 1 barramundi (whether it is during the closed season or one barramundi > 120 cm throughout the year) but must not fish anywhere else.

So why aren't the Ross weirs also on the exempt list with other stocked impoundments. ?

After just getting off the phone to fisheries, it is really only because of it's close proximity to the salt (breeding) regions of this and other close by rivers to save any confusion if someone were to 'take' a barra from the salt during the closed season then claim it was from the stocked weirs. (Quite understandable, as no doubt, some would try it on).

Tinaroo used to have a tagging system in place to mark fish prior to leaving the area with them.

Nothing to do with 'in case' they go over the wieirs in flood, (which they do, and good on them #;D.) . It would be a hell of ride from the 3rd weir up, where I fish, down to the salt, but has been done according to tagging records apparently. Maybe over a few wet seasons, they'd be a bit battered and bruised to do them all at once. #;D

by the way, Why do you think Aplins (the last weir before the salt) has more effort from the fish stocking society than the upper weirs ??,, (nudge, nudge, wink wink).

He also couldn't recall anyone being charged with either fishing, or taking fish from the weirs.

The bottom line, is I respect the old barra more than most about the place and rarely take one home, (especially not the swamp dogs from the wiers or dams, yuk). More importantly, I'm not upsetting the breeders. If some of you don't like that. #so be it. I'm comfortable with it. #;D

"When" #;D #the Ross Weirs are added to the exempt list with the other stocked impoundments, I wonder what will be the problem then ?? # #;D #(changes are afoot apparently).

(personally, I'd like to see it not added to the list, as I agree with the fisheries comment that it currently stops the likelihood of some some half wit who wants to target and keep salties during the closed season & then claim they're from the weir).


Derek Bullock
18-01-2005, 09:13 AM
I think you will find that the reason weirs arent included is because barra can and do wash over them back to the salt.


18-01-2005, 09:30 AM
I think you will find that the reason weirs arent included is because barra can and do wash over them back to the salt.


They don't go 'back' to the salt, as they were never there in the first place.

They've been artificially stocked, by the Townsville Fish Stocking Society.

As mentioned above, that wasn't cited as the reason during my phone call to them this morning.

Derek Bullock
18-01-2005, 09:55 AM
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. OK


18-01-2005, 02:31 PM
I beleive the stocked waters in the ross may come into line with the same legislation as the stocked impoundmernts in the future, as a result of the Ross dam being knocked back for future fish stocking activities..It would have been good for eveyone if the council had gone ahead and supported the stocking of Ross dam(apparently a few smaller tourist businesses and speedboats /skiers take the number one spot over a potential world wide money spinner,well done townsville and thuringowa council your foresight is amazingly stupid..) as it would have been a great tourist/money spinner for the region..I don't beleive Prosipine would have a viable airport without Faust Dam... 8)

19-01-2005, 12:45 PM
Ive been offline fishing so its been interesting to read these explanations for the distaste of weir fishing in summer. Still I am not convinced that banning barra fishing in a place like Aplins (or any of the weirs) is the right thing to do. Call me 'limited' but theres no way I'm going to sit out three good barra fishing months near a place like Aplins. What about the fact that nov-feb also just happens to be holiday period. Holidays, barra and living in FNQ should go together. That said I completely agree with the reasons for saltwater closed season and release any barra by-catch (which has been a bit lately) promptly after a quick photo.