The Gooseponds is fed in principal by Jane Creek, empties out into Vines Creek North Mackay and then directly into the Pioneer River on the eastern side of Harbour Road. These fresh water lagoons are acknowledged as the major barramundi grow out- nursery location attached to the Pioneer River.
Early indications are the infestation is the result of persons unknown disposing of their home aquarium fish tank. So far marine biologists have electro fished a handful of tilapia about 100 mm long and dozens around the 10 - 25 mm mark.
Early indications are that the fish are confined to the Gooseponds, but if we get a flood event before complete eradication in a relative short time they could spread from Cape Conway in the north to Cape Palmerston in the south. If they get into the Goorganga Plains wet lands they could destroy the barramundi fishery of Repulse Bay.
There are a number of options for eradication. Poisoning the water has been put up as an option. This would have a catastrophic effect on native fish, turtles and water birds which call the Gooseponds home, apart from that the stench of about 10 tonne of rotting marine life and disposal in the midst of a highly sought after residential would cause a public outcry.
The next best option is to “bomb” the place with barramundi( biological option ) - not hundreds but thousands. It is anticipated that nature will take care of itself, with the big fish eating the small fish. If we can eradicate these pests there will be a silver lining in about 18 months, when kids of all ages will be able to go to the Gooseponds and catch barra with relative ease.
At this stage, Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance Inc. in partnership with the Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association have been fundraising to purchase the hundreds of 300 mm long Barramundi at a cost of $8.00 each. As of 15/6/14 our “Buy a Barra” barometer has reached $7800.00 which is fantastic considering we have been fund raising for just over two weeks.
We acknowledge the financial support of the following:
Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance, Mackay Fish Stocking Association
Neil and Helen Elworthy, owners of Tackle World Mackay
Bruce Nash, owner Complete Tackle, Harbour Road Mackay
Tim Mulherin M.P. member for Mackay
Mackay Fishmarket, River Street Mackay
Mackay & District Amateur Fishing Clubs Association.
The tilapia eradication program is being administered by Reef Catchments Mackay, who have arranged a top level planning/scheduling and monitoring meeting to be held in Mackay on the 25th of June, at which all the major stakeholders will be in attendance.
As one can appreciate, this is a monster problem, and not quite as easy as releasing thousands of barra into the lagoons. Appropriate protocol must be followed. The problem will not be fixed over night.
On Friday the 13th of June, Fisheries Queensland issued a Barra stocking permit to Reef Catchments, so our first major hurdle is behind us.
Plans are afoot to put a flotilla of about 100 small tinny boats into the lagoon and remove all the aquatic weeds which provide cover habitat for the juvenile tilapia. If you can assist please contact Lance Murray on 0411 550 684 email firstname.lastname@example.org or Keith Day, email contact details, email@example.com
NET FREE PROPOSAL
At our last MRFA committee meeting it was decided to stop beating ourselves up, and shelve the project until the next state government and local council election.
Then out of the blue via email comes a story featured on the front page of the Cairns Post 14/6/14 saying IT’S TIME TO HOOK INTO FISHING’S $80M.
Cairns fishing identity Keith Graham, proprietor of Bransford’s Tackle shop said that the region ( Cairns) is sitting on a potential tourism goldmine and we are not taking advantage of it.
He further added, let’s start marketing and promoting Cairns as the recreational fishing tourism hotspot of the Southern hemisphere.
Well we have heard these words before, Mick O’Donnell, from the Seaforth progress association, local anglers Geoff Walsh and Darrell McLennan along with a small subcommittee of MRFA have been advocating this to our state M.P for Whitsunday and Mackay Regional Council councillors for well over 18 months all to no avail, this is despite the fact that we have letters of support from Mackay Tourism, Seaforth Progress Association, Traditional Owners -Yuiburra , Mackay Chamber of Commerce, Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, Mackay & District Amateur Fishing Clubs Association and the Caravan Park RV and Accommodation association of Australia.
The foremost target for Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance Inc.) is to make Mackay the fishing destination of Queensland. There is no 2nd prize, Jason.
In view of the email about Cairns, we are not going to sit on our bums and watch this once in a lifetime opportunity slip out of our hands and be established in a city which will boast a Casino as one of its main attractions.
Anglers can come to Mackay for peace and tranquility, enjoy our natural surroundings and have the recreational fishing experience of their life !
Like big Kev, we’re excited. !
Queensland Commercial fisher fined $109.000 - yes, this no typo.
Reported in the Fraser Coast Chronicle newspaper 12/6/14.
A commercial fisher was fined a total of $109,000 plus court costs after having been found guilty of being in possession of 31 undersize mud crabs, in possession of 200 female mud crab claws, in possession of 371 mud crab halves, and in possession of three (3) female crabs, he was also convicted of being in possession of 27 undersize fish believed to be for the purpose of baiting crab pots, and stealing from other peoples crab pots.
His commercial fishing licence was suspended for 12 months.
OBITUARY: as reported in the London Times.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain; accidents may happen; If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home but the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little on her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughters, Responsibility and Integrity and his son, Reason.
He is survived by his four stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame and I’m A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.