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  1. #106

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Yep the tracks on non 4wd beaches always makes me wonder what has gone on. Yeah nigelr good idea. Ben

  2. #107

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    The funny thing is on this fishing site alone they would keep probably at least three mullet net licences in business alone in mullet sales before the roe and general public sales even gets a look in that's how vital it is to rec's I'd be very surprised if you're gonna get much support other than the guys that mainly lure fish to stop a vital part of the fishery for recs and pro's alike.

  3. #108

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Just glancing through the logged on members and there's a lot of names there that I don't recognise and who probably haven't read my explanations of 'spooking' in relation to nets before. Here's a very brief one.

    Spooking refers to fish being frightened away from an area by human activity - adopting anti-predator behaviour. Whether that be by nets or noise in boats, car doors slamming on a quiet beach, the fish sighting the angler or being put off by a presented bait/lure/fly, fish being dropped (lost after hook up) by an angler, the sound of commercial vessels or its gear (very well documented), the sound of recreational vessels etc.

    In recreational fishing, spooking is generally applicable to single fish being targeted, a few fish hanging together or perhaps an entire school in some circumstances. But nets are far more threatening to fish than anything else and they know all about their greatest predator. Any sign of a net and they will adopt a risk assessment which usually results in an anti-predator response. The signs that indicate the presence of a net can be the sound or sight of the vessel or gear, or alarm signals emitted by fish within the net.

    Most fish have the ability to vocalise. Fish when trapped in a net, or in the jaws of a predator, emit alarm vocalisations that warns fish nearby that there is a predator/net in the vicinity. Sound in water travels at 5 times that which it does in air and is a common medium for aquatic animals to use. Everyone knows about the high frequency vocalisations of dolphins and whales, well fish vocalisations are similar but at lower frequency and can be heard through hydrophones just as cetacean vocs can be. Each species of fish that has the ability to vocalise has a vocalisation that is unique to their species just like birds. Fish vocalisations can be heard by other fish and hydrophones up to kms away depending on vocalising and hearing ability of the species involved.

    The most powerful alarm signal emitted by fish is schreckstoff, which is known as a chemical alarm cue (signal). Schreckstoff is the slimy coating that all fish possess. It is believed all aquatic organisms possess schreckstoff. The release of schreckstoff only occurs upon damage to the skin of the fish and therefore is a certain indicator of a predator actually predating on a fish. Fish trapped in a net and rubbing against each other and the net, releases huge quantities of schreckstoff. 1 square cm of skin extract (schreckstoff) put in a 57000 litre tank will prompt anti-predator behaviour by fish within the tank every time. It is powerful stuff that can warn fish moving into an area that predation has taken place up to a week after the predation/netting depending on species, environment, weather and ocean conditions or haul size. The higher the concentration of schreckstoff, the more dire is the warning.
    Another chemical alarm cue emitted by panicked fish is called a disturbance cue. This is a urinary expulsion of ammonia which is a common trait amongst all sorts of marine and terrestrial taxa. Not as powerful as schreckstoff and is believed to be like a 'confirmation of danger' alarm cue when in association with other alarm cues.
    Then there is visual alarm which is the sight of fish displaying anti-predator behaviour of fleeing, freezing or hiding from a predator. Fish nearby a net that flee will swim past other fish and these other fish receive the visual warning about the net/predator if they haven't already smelt the schreckstoff or heard alarm vocalisations.
    Note: fleeing, freezing or hiding are the options available to fish to avoid predators (anti-predator response). Fish in structured habitats like reef, estuary, lake, can choose any of the 3 options and is often species dependent as to which is utilised. Fish in open sandy habitats will have found through evolution that freezing or hiding is generally uncuccessful and particularly so as they've evolved anti-predator responses to nets. Fleeing is the go where the ocean haul fishery is concerned.

    Combinations of alarm cues prompt more animated antipredator responses than does a single type of alarm cue on its own. Netting causes all alarm cues to be present and strong anti-predator responses,

    Each species of fish will react to alarm cues emitted by conspecifics (same species) and heterospecifics (other species) if they belong to the same prey guild - ie having a common predator (net in this instance).

    Effectively what that means is that any fish that is taken by a particular style of netting, or netting that is proximate to where a species has a relatively recent history of being netted, can be spooked by a net irrespective of what species is in the net. Baitfish like anchovy and sardine for instance aren't spooked by beach seine because they don't have any history of being netted in the area or by a net that makes the sounds and produces the schreckstoff from species that are netted by beach seine. They hear and smell the alarm cues, but don't have an association of trauma with these cues and risk assessment tells them that there is no need for an anti-predator response.

    Fleeing nets takes fish away from whatever it was that brought them to the region in the first place - food/spawning. Being somewhere other than their preferred feeding/spawning ground means that they may be eating less, or less nutricious prey and spawning in localities that don't promote maximum fertilisation of eggs or larval survival. When the majority of our inshore species are taken whilst on spawning migrations or when aggregated for spawning, this isn't helpful and is believed to contribute to mortality levels as high as the harvest itself through poor egg fertilisation and larval mortality. Known as a non-consumptive effect, or remote predatory effect, there is quite a deal of research that has been dedicated to this field. Growth rates and fecundity are often adversely affected in harvested species with smaller size at age being attained in less than 5 generations. Tailor are growing slower and attaining a smaller size at maturity than they were in the 70s which is a typical indication of overfishing.

    As mentioned - a very brief explanation which leaves out massive relevent detail. Happy to answer any questions.

  4. #109

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    sooo, how does this "spooking"explain schools of Mullet traveling the same beach an hour after a "shot" has been done? by your theories and what others have said, the beach should be a fish "desert" for 2K either side of a Mullet haul for weeks later! Also not 100% sure what the difference in fish being netted is to schools of bait fish being attacked by (say) Tailor, danger is danger, yes/no? Mullet discussion come up every year at this time, Mullet "travel" or migrate from the rivers this time of the year, they start way down south NSW and the same thing in QLD, it has gone on forever, not exactly sure where they go, because you wouldn't think the ones from southern NSW would go that far north, or would they? you never see them going north to south!! (like people I guess) Kind of doubt a handfull of Ausfishers buying a couple hundred KG of Mullet for bait would sustain a couple of licences.

  5. #110

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Da-Jew-Man View Post
    Hi Scalem,

    The actual gutter where the mullet was netted was empty of all fish.
    I have verified this. Now if the netters have been on the beach I put away the gear.
    ........
    Look at the Tailor and Jew seasons over the last couple of years in Northern NSW.( Forget about the soapies which most certainly came form restocking.)
    .......
    I myself just love "sand between the toes" and catching some fish. Most I let go, ocassionally I will keep 1 or 2 That's about it.
    I'm not sure what Jew season you fished in Northern NSW but I had a blinder last year, as did most of the other jew blokes. Just the fish I kept my ear to the ground on there would have been over a dozen fish nudging 30kg, with numerous 10-25kg fish. Most fish released that I caught (river caught fish = easily released).

    How did you verify that the gutter was empty of fish? Jump in with a mask and snorkel and do a finfish survey? Or simply that you didn't catch fish and subsequently it's someone else's fault...


    Noelm, about 40% of netted mullet goes through the bait industry.

  6. #111

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    I am sure that is correct, BUT, the post said that "thing is on this fishing site alone they would keep probably at least three mullet net licences in business alone in mullet sales before the roe and general public sales " not even close to the mark (in my opinion) I guess we could all go and cast net 100Kg of Mullet each, but then, is that any better than getting a commercial quantity when the whole rec numbers are added up?

  7. #112

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Some of the netters I know would be lucky to do 5 tonne a year their part timers I know from me alone I use 2 tonne of fillet a year by myself without taking into account other net caught species like pilchards,gar,yakkas,slimeys,pike,cuttlefish and squid I alone could keep one in business especially one I'm thinking about on the tweed that's without the tonnes of fillets and whole fish I know guys on this site use.

  8. #113

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    2 tonne of Mullet a year for bait??? Jesus, what do you do, throw the frozen fillets at the fish to knock them out? thats 40KG of bait EVERY week, and thats without (as you said) Pilchards, Squid and other stuff, so lets say this is 100% true, where would you get your bait if the Mullet netting was stopped tomorrow? Pilchards, Squid?? and how would that be any better for the food chain? I don't see it myself.

  9. #114

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Mate I'm commercial line fisherman I cut through shit loads of bait I do on average about 50 plus extended trips for 4 days a year without taking into account local day and overnight work it's just a running expense and I catch a lot of my own bait but generally it's cheaper to buy bait frozen or bulk fresh and sell my own because I get a more premium price, mullets cheap and nasty and does the job, I just bought 1.8 tonne of fillet at $2 kg packed and processed.

  10. #115

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    OH, OK, so you are a commercial operator!! but as I said, "IF" Mullet netting was dumped tomorrow, is getting another source of bait going to be any different? well... except for afew beach fisherman that seem to think beach netting turns any beach into a barren waste land for weeks, I cant see it being any different to what we have now, we are just sawpping Mullet for Prawns, Squid or Pilchards or something.

  11. #116

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    No it's only going to put more pressure on a resource that won't cope anywhere near as good as mullet does,before mullet for me I was using a lot more tuna, yakkas,squid and pilchards but seeing how I can get double of triple the money for some those species that i catch business wise it's not wise to use them anymore as much and use mullet which for all parties concerned is a smart cheap and viable alternative.

  12. #117
    Ausfish Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Hey Samson as a young bloke, i spent about 3 Years Reef Line Fishing from DIPoint to say Bundy. Not sure if you'll answer this, but if your catching Whole Schnapps you would"nt get anymore than say $9 a KG Whole. Cheers Manta Man

  13. #118

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    For years I was I getting $6 but about ten years ago till now it's been Steady at around $9.50 kg but new Zealand snapper that's imported gets over $12 which has a better recovery on the fillet but it would be good to see a mark up for local stuff which is due,mind you I don't spend anywhere as much time chasing snapper anymore most shops don't like it they much prefer gold band snapper for their money so it's better just to chase a wide variety of species and keep all the punters happy.

  14. #119

    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    No intent to stop mullet netting from this quarter - just looking for a change to the way we do net them.

    Noelm - I've never known a single haul to spook an area for more than a few days to a week. But each haul over the period of the netting season causes its own area avoidance and cumulatively that results in a fairly barren surf that lasts for months here (Noosa Nth Shore) with the intensity of the netting that occurs. There can be windows in between hauls when fish other than mullet can be available but they don't last long as the pros know when these species are due back and they're looking (like I used to) - or a mullet net is shot and a fresh area avoidance starts.

    The mullet are different to the surf and ocean going species in that they're based in the estuaries but must exit the estuary to spawn to the north of the estuary - as you know. The pros always have a handle on what schools are coming down the river and when they can be expected to exit. Regs mean that nets can't be shot inside 400m to the north of the mouth and the pros can have a hell of a time getting the mullet to head in that direction initially as the mullet have become very flighty in recent years and shown a tendency to head straight out to sea. Boats are often deployed at the mouth itself to try and herd the schools to the north where they can be legally netted.

    The fact that the mullet are in the river when previous hauls are taken means that there's not much they can do about avoiding the nets at the mouth except try and head straight out. They have to spawn and they have to do so to the north of the mouth so will end up there one way or the other. Spawning fish can exit the mouth on consecutive days and hauls can occur on consecutive days, but not of the other species that are 'free ranging' and have the ability to flee. The hauls might be of schools at the mouth or schools way up the beach that have done the loop out to sea and landed back in the surf to spawn - thus the use of spotter planes to see where they land and constant vigilance by the pros in looking for these schools. The mullet wouldn't, I don't expect, land in an area that is laced with schreckstoff and would keep heading north until they feel safe - which in recent years has regularly been in the lagoon on the northern side of Double Island Point, some 60kms from the mouth.

    From a rec perspective and trying to find windows in between hauls, it can be very difficult because the mullet keep coming out of the river and are usually netted - to cause an area avoidance. When a window does occur for the other species to be caught at distance to the mouth or if there's greater than a week or so between mullet hauls, the pros are johny on the spot and they'll generally shoot a net for bream, whiting, tarwhine, dart etc in the first 48 hours of the fish returning after the previous mullet haul and this haul causes an area avoidance.

    So between the mullet netted at the mouth or to the north where the looping mullet land and the occasional haul of other species, the pros can make a living, but the recs don't really get a crack unless they're particularly lucky to be fishing in a window.

    I've watched mullet and tailor flee nets and they tend to flee through the gutters to the north or south of the net in a direction away from the net. They may head straight offshore but I haven't seen that though it is believed that tailor are taking a more offshore migration to avoid inshore fishing pressure. I have seen mullet and tailor fleeing through gutters and have driven to where the net was shot and have readings over 10kms from where the fleeing fish were sighted to the net on several occasions. Therefore it is more than feasible that mullet and perhaps other species can be netted half an hour after a net was shot and while they are fleeing.

    I see mullet heading south towards the Noosa every year after they've finished spawning.

    Season here looks like it kicked off today though it appears no nets were shot - though I did see small mullet schools this morning north of Teewah that were briefly eyed off.

  15. #120
    Ausfish Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong

    Cheers for that samson. Yep just another Smaller Operator being "Squeezed". As for the comments ,i have made on this particular subject . My opinion "Stands" and where all entitled to an opinion. My only Degree is "Common Sense" as a Fisherman, given time, No"s and Size are slowly disappearing in regards to Mullet. You just can"t keep hauling Fish out of the Ocean in that type of "Breeding Capacity" and expect the "Cycle Of Life Continuing For Ever And A Day". Oh and just remember, i"m not just here for myself, it"s for the "Generations To Come". Cheers Manta Man

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