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Thread: Barbarism

  1. #1


    Not happy with some of the advice given out recently on what you should do with Big Barra caught in inpoundments .
    Anything over 60 cm and especialy the meter plus ones should be pulled out as they eat the small barra and fingerlings. Yeah right... ???
    If ya don't like eating them... just throw em up the bank or take em home for the cat to eat. " Barbaric i think "#>
    Take em in and give em away to retirement homes.. Gee when i'm in there i hope they don't try and feed me that yucky grey flesh from a 40 lb plus dam Barra #.
    The blame on some failed stockings at Tinaroo Dam has been put on the big barra eating fingerlings.. yeah right
    More like mouth almightys are the culprits.
    Nothing wrong with taking a fish or two as they are put & take fisheries "SIP scheme" etc but don't think we should become barbarians . IMO... Please leave some feedback .

    # #Cheers Les #

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

  2. #2

    Re:  Barbarism


    Your reaction is not unusual however consider the following.

    If you have 6 foot aquarium and you add 5 fingerlings in year one, 5 in year 2 etc etc and never take any fish from the aquarium what will the result be?

    Competition for space etc will mean that the larger fish will either consume the new fingerlings placed in the aquarium or force them out of cover where they are more easily targets for other predators (eg the mouth almighty you have identified).

    Also consider the food sources - you will have to be adding more and more food to the aquarium to feed all the fish in it. In the impoundments there is a level of food sources available that can not be exceeded.

    All of the above is known as "carrying capacity" of an impoundment and while not an exact science DPI have come up with a presentation and paper on this subject.

    Stocked impoundments are not natural environments and need to be managed. They are "Put and Take Fisheries".

    I think it is great that many fisherman today have the attitude of catch and release and many find it very difficult to take a fish. However a balanced approach is needed. You don't need to take every fish you catch however taking one per trip (over legal size) is only going to help the fishery.

    I regularly take a barra on my impoundent trips and one in 10 or so is not so flash on the bbq but the rest are fine and size doesn't matter in my experience (some small one's don't make the grade). My neighbour has been an active salt water fisherman for 60+ years and the first time I bought home a fresh water barra he refused to eat it (as it couldn't be any good if it's not from the salt). That was until I invited him for a bbq and cooked some up. He now will take a fillet every time.

    I do not advocate throwing fish up on the bank.

    A great deal of research has been done on this subject and while not totally conclusive it certainly shows that taking of larger fish assists with the management plans of the fisheries.

    Kind regards

  3. #3

    Re:  Barbarism

    I'm with you Les, take Lake Awoonga for example, over 2.2 million fingerlings released in 10 years, and the evidence of massive success in the last few years of stocking has shown huge numbers of juvenilles growing to 4kg in a year and 7-8 kg in the last 2 yrs. Last years fishing is very supportive to the fact that small barra ARE NOT the number 1 food item sourced by bigger barra. Stocked fingerlings in the last 2 years in Awoonga are around 350 000-400 000 mark. Awoonga has a very strong year class of barra well over 1 metre in length, plus many other year classes either side of that 1 metre mark, plus the monsters over 1200mm long. The last 2 year classes of barra released have extremely strong stockholds, and are equal to any of the earlier years. There is no supportive evidence to have said "that larger barra need to be removed from impoundments." Don't fall for that one.
    DO THE MATHS THEY SAY - Awoonga's bony bream population, say 20, million( some schools found with a sounder cover more than 30 metres long and over 5 metres deep, and atleast 10 metres wide. one school may be 20 million in population, size dependant)thats a guess mind you!! in reality, bony bream population is more like 200 million plus. snub nosed gar fish, banded grunter, hardyhead, rainbow fish, catfish, spangled perch, longtom, shrimps, redclaw etc to add to the massive available bait population. The real total would be in the mass millions. Barra fingerlings, say 200 000 a year released! so if we work on a percentage of 200 000 barra per say even only 200 million bait fish , we then convert that to work on a 1 barra fingerling to 1000 baitfish, which converts to barra being only .1 %, not even 1 percent of the available and utilised food sources. that means 1000 other bait fish need to be eaten for every barra fingerling that geats engulfed. No strong evidence supports any theories about large barramundi being detrimantal in atleast Awoonga's barra fishery. There are many other factors that can contribute to failed stockings or atleast minimal survival rates in some areas. I have seen and filmed many large pelicans which have died from trying to ingest barramundi around the 4 to 6 kg size, the barra's dorsal/fin spikes becoming jammed in the big birds neck. Too much time, money and effort is spent to produce these magnificent fish, to have then killed because of misinformation. (This stands for Awoonga anyway, and most likely other areas with mass bait supplies and large surface areas of water.) Old wives tales can create many misconceptions, and through proper education, we can all enjoy our environments without the hassle of not really knowing. Ask questions, never assume! Feedback welcome,
    Johnny Mitchell,
    Lake Awoonga.

  4. #4

    Re:  Barbarism

    DRJ, that 'carrying capacity' point that you aired is very true, but at the rates of stocking in larger dams/lakes with mass food supply and mass surface area is well below this capacity. in many years to come if stocking continued, it MAY REACH A POINT WHERE WE NEED TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM, but at present food supplies are almost endless, surface area in lakes like Awoonga aren't critical, so competition for space isn't really an issue, and since the lake is at around 50 %( not accurate), future rains will see the fish per hectare ratio lessen dramatically as the top 50% holding capacity of Awoonga will see its surface area explode due to the lay of the surrounding land. The awesome/solidly built/fat barra condition backs the quality and availability of food supplies available in Awoonga. So i don't think we have to start taking fish from such impoundments until further studies show a stressing and struggling impoundment fishery. At present it is BOOMING, and yes, Management is critical in their success!
    Johnny M

  5. #5

    Re:  Barbarism

    I find it absolutely ludicrous that anyone could be so ignorant as to suggest that throwing a large Barra on the bank will be beneficial to the fishery!

    I know that they can't breed, however why wreck the chance of giving someone else the thrill of catching a monster, and whilst I'm only beginning to learn about these issues I think Johnny's theory could hold a lot of merit.

    The theory of Big barra eating fingerlings might become an issue if the fishery is massively overstocked, although I'd want to see some pretty bloody good evidence of that before I'd even consider keeping a fish.

    I don't have a problem with anyone taking a legal fish or two, and if they like eating them well good on them. Personally I hate the taste of freshwater fish unless it's smoked or heavily disguised with a marinade. A quick trip out to the salt gives me yummy fish whenever I want - I imagine if I didn't live near the salt I might change my opinion, however not much chance of me living more than a stones throw from the ocean

  6. #6

    Re:  Barbarism

    .....There are a couple off comps that are held in Awoonga each year They are the Pro Am and the Family Fishing one they should set the standard and be catch and release ...In the Pro Am you have all the Guns of the barra`fishing world They should set the standard ....This year there will be a new event called the "Barra tour it will start in Awoonga and goes on to Teemburra, Faust and Tinaroo it will be catch and release ......just take there photo and let them live...
    Kids need models, more than they need critics."
    "In youth we learn; in age we understand."
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand

  7. #7

    Re:  Barbarism

    Guys - you have all appeared to have responded from an Awoonga point of view. Awoonga may not have any current problems (and that's great and I hope it continues). My response was made as a general statement for barra impoundments.

    There is no supportive evidence to have said "that larger barra need to be removed from impoundments." Don't fall for that one.
    (This stands for Awoonga anyway, and most likely other areas with mass bait supplies and large surface areas of water.) Old wives tales can create many misconceptions, and through proper education, we can all enjoy our environments without the hassle of not really knowing. Ask questions, never assume! Feedback welcome,
    Johnny Mitchell,
    Lake Awoonga

    Johnny please have a chat with DPI&F re fact and reports vs old wives tales - as it appears you have put my comments in the latter and I clearly stated where the information came from.

    From a Mackay Area Fish Stocking point of view we support the balanced approach in our dams (Teemburra, Eungella and Kinchant). We treat them as put and take fisheries (not wholesale slaughter and not throwing fish up on the bank - again clearly stated in my initial response).

    You are correct in your thoughts on "ask questions" - Nobody has all the answers and the answers you may find for one dam will not neccessarily relate to that of another.

    I'll get of the soapbox now as I will continue to go over the area's I have already covered. Please read my initial response carefully and do not read anything into that I haven't said and do not take any of it out of context.

    Kind regards

  8. #8

    Re:  Barbarism

    I'm with Les and John. I am more than happy to release them all to fight another day. Every trip I've done to Monduran I've seen almost everyone else take fish home, which is fine too. There is certainly no shortage of bait in that dam either!

  9. #9

    Re:  Barbarism

    Darren, Thanks for your response again. i did wonder how my text would be accepted as it appeared on screen directly after your post. it seems we may have both been penning a response to Les at similar times, yours being finished and posted about 40 mins before my response to the initial topic, hence my 2nd reply refering to "CARRYING CAPACITY". Your feedback was great, and please don't think i was categorising any of your work or 'words' in the "OLD WIVES TALE" saying! I am very interested in any information/papers or feedback released on the topic. I have followed closely the stocking programme at awoonga, and have a vested interest in its future. We are still learning about our new stocked impoundments, and i think it is extremely important that the general public become aware also of any new findings in such fisheries. The issue of larger fish removal would be location specific, as you mention not all dams/lakes are the same. My points mostly relate to Awoonga as stated. i can only share my observations and findings on this topic, based on my experiences and knowledge over the last 10 yrs.
    Sorry if any of my work was misinterpereted, no degradation was meant in any fashion.
    Johnny Mitchell
    Lake Awoonga
    0429 723757

    Just one more thought, if we remove 30+ kg fish because they eat the 3-4kg fish, do we remove the 15 kg barra because they eat the 2 kg barra, and then do we remove the 2 kg barra because they eat the fingerlings??? Is there actually a point at where we defeat the purpose of stocking?? Interesting topics on Ausfish Chat!

  10. #10

    Re: #Barbarism

    If the DPI/F are right ? Then we may have created a MONSTER.
    And if they are right then the powers to be should be pushing for and increased bag limit on impoundment Barra as there is not much point having a bag limit of 1 fish during the closed season as this is when most of the fish are caught.
    I still don't believe that say that there was 50000 big barra in a lake that they would eat a large percenage of a stocking groups say 100000 fingerlings. Not when there are tens of thousand tons if not more of bait fish that are easy pickings.
    There is a few people that would like to see large murray cod pulled out of our waterways as they reckon that they eat the small fish. And they do eat some smaller cod etc. But greedy fisher people take a lot more fish than they do...

    # # Cheers Les

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

  11. #11

    Re:  Barbarism

    Johnny - appreciate your words
    A lot more research needs to be done to be conclusive in any of this. Location specific issues then add the extra dimension
    The key issue here is to take on board all the facts and then try and develop a plan to suit the specific imoundment you are stocking. In the "facts" angler experience is paramount - that's what the fish are stocked for. So if an impoundment is not fishing well then something needs to be changed. The problem is there is a long lead in time when things go bad to get them back on track - just ask the poor guys and girls who look after Tinaroo (and by the way all the feedback I am hearing is they have done some great things to get a recovery happening and it is "happening"). So in order to try and stay on top of things you need to be aware of all the experiences, data, conclusions etc available and then match that up to your impoundment. If you are doing something that may well be a problem in the future - you need to adjust now - not when it is a problem.

    Let me put this to all. If I am the responsible party for an SIP funded impoundment and I am aware of facts, scientific opinion etc and I do not take that into account and the dam fails to produce in the future - would you the SIP paying public then feel that I have stuffed up your fishery that YOU paid for? From past experience I can tell you I would cop an absolute triade of abuse (and rightly so). However if I take all the info into account and try and get a balanced approach happening and am prepared to tell you the fee paying public what I am doing and why (and back it up with fact etc) you will be more happy to support what I am doing.

    Les in one gut analysis survey I recall that 30% of the gut contents of larger barra were made up of juvenile barra (I suspect that was a particularly high count however the facts are there that they do prey on their own species).

    I take you back to my original answer where I talked about carrying capacity (this also includes habitat) so if juveniles are forced out of habitat they are more easily preyed on by other species as well as barra - and the birds as well.

    Re bag limits - again a balance approach is still needed and the 1 fish rule is not just a compromise on the impoundment issues there is also the enforcement side of the discussion that comes into play - DPI have at least gone as far as one fish - over time and with more data I am sure it will be reviewed further.

    I can't comment on the cod issue as I have no experience or knowledge in that area.

    Johnny - on the when do we stop question - very good question. It depends on the type of fishery you wish to create. If you want a record breaking fishery then you would only take out some of the very big ones and know that you are sacrificing some of the fingerlings when stocking. If you want a family based fishery where you want novices to be able to catch fish (in the legal to 750mm range) then you want as many of the large fish removed as possible.

    Just don't forget this is all only one part of the whole process - water quality, size of fingerlings, health of fingerlings, water levels, floods etc etc etc etc etc come into the equation.

    If anyone out there want to get more involved and learn get in touch with your local stocking group and join up - and get your voice heard as well.

    Kind regards
    ps I didn't proof read this so hope it comes out alright.

  12. #12

    Re:  Barbarism

    It came out spot on Darren! think i saw you on Randall's new and produced Barra fishing CD. Mackay hatchery i think. You were fishing Teemburra,,,,maybe. (excuse the spelling of that lake).
    Yeah, great effort required in fully understanding each barra fishery, and also coming up with a management plan. I'm definitely the type that requires evidence to back theories. I've spent years on and under the water at different levels, recreational, commercial etc, and i am one of those guys that pays particular attention to detail and surrounds. Observations and thought processes backed with the evidence will help produce successful management plans. I'm always open to discussion and to share my thoughts and experiences. Love to hear more on this topic.
    Kind Regards,
    John Mitchell
    Lake Awoonga Barra Fishing Charters

  13. #13

    Re:  Barbarism


    I knew that video would come back and haunt me [smiley=blush.gif]

    It was Teemburra.

    If you see Randall ask him where my copy is???

    Might be coming past your way in a few weeks so if I get a chance I'll call in.

    Be interested to have others put up their experiences, knowledge and thoughts on this topic.


  14. #14

    Re: #Barbarism

    If the big Barra are that bad... and lets face it theres not to many small ones around as a baby is #60 cm long 12-15 months aprox. So i guess the stocking groups would not be real keen on stocking smaller slower growing fish... Sootys in places like Faust, Teemburra? Bass in dams like Monduran? Jacks in Awoonga ? Golden Perch in Callide?...Like it takes years and years to get a Bass up to 50 cm... At least a Barra grows out of the snack size fairly quickly and can fend for itself...
    Food for thought
    # # Cheers Les

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

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