Freshwater anglers have again secured their own future by supporting the Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) scheme. This scheme provides community fish stocking groups with funds to allow them to purchase and release fingerlings into their local impoundments. The concept was initiated by anglers and involves a permit allowing access to fish in 30 impoundments across Queensland. The permit holders direct where their funds are distributed and remains independent of the Queensland Government which hasn’t contributed to the scheme.
Once a year, before the end of June, disbursements are made to stocking groups. The allocation is based on a formula comprising 50% surface area of impoundment and 50% angler preference. Surface area is capped at 4000 hectares. The total allocation for the 2007 year is $507 288.
It is interesting to note some swings in angler preference percentages. There appears to be some parallels with low water levels as well as some impoundments receiving high profiles in the media. These trends will be worth watching in future years.
The circumstance of low water levels, and particularly more so if the drought continues, is now beginning to impact on the purchase and scheduled release of fingerlings of a number of stocking groups. Some groups have had extremely low water levels for a few years now and have curtailed their releases. Some did not stock at all last summer. This lack of annual stocking is likely to show up in future catch rates by anglers. Another important factor is that any stocking group which is holding over more than 1 years allocation, will not be provided with continuing funds until it is spent. Effectively, these funs are lost as there is no catch up of the last years funds.
FFSAQ, on behalf of all stocking groups across the state, would like to thank all the freshwater anglers who continually support the scheme. Freshwater fishing has gained immense popularity in recent years, and much of this can be attributed to the very productive fisheries that have been created by the SIP scheme. Of course, without the voluntary commitment by community stocking group members, it would not happen. Please support these groups whenever you can. These fisheries did not create themselves, and should not be taken for granted. –Les Kowitz, FFSAQ
23 delegates from many fish stocking groups in the southeast region met at Fernvale on the 12th May 2007. The forum was the FFSAQ-DPIF Freshwater Fisheries Workshop for the Queensland’s southeast region. This event was the fifth of a series of workshops across the state. The focus of the workshops is to allow stocking groups to be updated by both DPI Fisheries and FFSAQ on current issues, but more importantly to enable stocking groups to raise local issues that are of concern to them. This system appears to have worked quite successfully.
A DPI Fisheries state overview interested many attendees. The structure of Fisheries has now been revised. Within these changes has been the creation of a Recreational Fishing and Freshwater Habitat section. This is seen as a positive move as it recognizes freshwater more than it has previously.
The Fisheries (Freshwater) Management Plan 1999 is now due for revision. The process for this was outlined by DPIF. This review will incorporate a Performance Measurement System that is closely aligned to future fisheries monitoring.
The proposed allocation of funding through the new Queensland Lifestyle Policy caused some debate as did the FFSAQ overview of its current issues and future direction.
Naturally, stocking groups raised a number of agenda items. Included were the potential impacts of fish stocks caused by continuing low water levels, the future of the Lake MacDonald and specifically how this will affect future supplies of Mary River Cod fingerlings, and an update of the current position on stocking of new species particularly Mullet.
Carpbusters reported on the results of their research project aimed at tagging both Australian Bass and Mary River cod in the Albert and Logan Rivers. The object of the project is to attain data on growth rates and fish movement.
Brisbane Valley Anglers reported on the activities and projects they are currently engaged in. Two prominent activities include the proposal to replace the fishway on Mt. Crosby Weir, and the tagging project targeting Australian Bass and Mary River Cod in the Brisbane River.
Overall, it was a very productive workshop with good outcomes. It was pleasing to see the manner in which delegates participated and debated the issues. –Les Kowitz, FFSAQ
SIP Allocation 2007
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