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Conserving threadfin stocks


nadders

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The topic recently came up in the reports section about how to avoid targetting the breeding threadfin stock, so i thought instead of turning a report into what could possibly be construed as a soapbox session, i would make this thread

as everyone should be aware its peak spawning season for the threadfin salmon in the river. a bit of background for those who havent seen the other post, spawning starts around september and ends around february. threadfin change sex from male to female at around the m mark, fish over the 100cm have a good chance of being breeding females which are very very very important for the survival of the species.

mature female breeders are quite rare in comparison to males, and produce heaps of eggs so each female is especially important to the population. i would urge everyone to keep this in mind during this season (personally i wish there was a closed season on threadfin just as ther is for australian bass)

now for the meat of the post, how to avoid putting the breeders in jeapordy..well the general rule is the furhter down river you go, the bigger the average size of the fish. the mouth area and esp pipeline area is renowned for big threadies with 1m+ being the commonly caught size. it would be very helpful to the threadies if we either abstained from fishing for them in this area for a few months or chased them upstream a bit, where they tend to be on the smaller size.

threadies from 60-80cm still give great sport on light tackle and arent quite as important to the population as the big girls (though they are still important during this period as the females can't do it alone haha)

now i know how these things can turn sour but im not having ago at anyone and i'm doing this post for the future of the fish. please bear that in mind and lets keep this post clean and civil ladies and gents!

cheers

dan

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Well said Dan

Its really simple every large fish taken out means you will catch less fish in the future, not only are you stuffing it for yourself but everyone else who would like the chance to catch these great fish is affected.

It probably wont come soon enuf but the oil pipeline area is the largest known breeding aggregation in the river and needs a level of protection either by means of maximum size limits of say 95cm or summer breeding closures.

Its not like we have a threadfin hatchery, unlike bass these fish are not factory made.

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Thanks Dan great post

But from a bloke that catches not to much of anything it just feels like more rules and restrictions I'm flat out keeping up with the green zones and all the rest as it is.

I guess the more we learn the more we have to learn.

I just want to go fishing :huh:

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good point about rules and restrictions mal, but if you look at it long term it could come down to either a self enforced restriction (for example abstaining from fishing where the breeding aggregations are) a closed season type law as with bass, or a forced restriction in that the population takes a sudden dive as it took a sudden climb 10 years ago and theres not much of anything left in the water to catch

i guess you dont really need to look at it like someone saying you cant do this you cant do that, more so look at whats good for the prolificity (word?) of the species, the healthier the population the more there are to catch in the long run and imo giving them a break for 4 months is well worth the return

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I think trying to talk to fisheries or pollies would be the way to go but like some bureacrates these people take it to far.An education program on the importance of the species to seq would be more benafishal.Like what they have done with native fresh water species and along with some reef species education is the way to go so here's to some good teaching's

cheers dassa

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thats right dassa theres only so much a rule or law can do if people dont understand the reason behind it, which is why im trying to get this stuff out there as often as possible so the many people who view this site each day may take something from it and pass it on, the pen is mightier than the sword. if all the fishers in SE QLD realised how lucky we are to have this fishery and the importance of the big spawners during this time of year the population can only get healthier and more cemented in the system!

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I hope something is done to help preserve and maintain the healthy stocks we are blessed with to have in our river. After all threadys are the main fish that make our river special and alot of people up north rate them over barra, and if you had that many barra in your local river you would want to keep it that way!

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It is not just a matter of protecting the breeders. If the small fish are targeted and taken out there will be no oncoming young males to turn into females.

It is a very difficult situation as there are very little stats available on the life cycle and breeding habits of threadfin.

Maybe there needs to be a closed season and the bag limit reduced to one in the Brisbane River but then who will police the regs.

Maybe in next years classic there shouldnt even be a thready catergory.

Should we also be looking at conserving the snapper stocks in the river as they are also only a recent arrival in the river.

Cheers

Ray

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Thats right Ray, the small fish need protection, its quiet eassy put a slot limit on the fish say 70-90cm, from my observations the small fish dont have much trouble with release unlike the ones in the deeper water at the oil pipe.

There is no need to worry about the rivers snapper stocks, they are not the brood stock, there are snapper all thru moreton bay and out offshore, the diff with the threddys is all the breeders are lined up in one location at the moment as you know. just sitting ducks.

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very true ray the smaller fish are very important, however the impact especially during breeding season of removing large breeders is very much higher than the impact of removing smaller males

lets say x amount of fish are taken yearly, its much better if all of those are in the 80-90cm range (i would say most taken are around 80-100cm) than if it is spread out among 80-130+ cm. but thats not to say that more can be taken because they're smaller, because if too many 80-90cm are taken then theres not enough to grow into 100+

it is difficult to work out sustainabilty figures and all that but in essence its simple, we have enough data on the life cycle and breeding to know that they start to mature into females around the metre mark and they spawn from september to feb.

i think the point of my thread isnt so much to get the laws changed but to attempt to educate, if we realise these simple facts and act accordingly we shouldnt need outside enforcement, for our community anyway. as far as the outside fishing community and whether the majority will do the right thing, well the government isn't going to listen to anything short of published scientific research (and even then lol) which is why projects like brads may help in the future getting wider education out there

as far as snapper goes, i havent done nearly the home research that i have on threadies however if what we're led to believe is true then snapper stocks all over the place are going downward. maybe someone has knowledge on snapper and can contribute?

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I think a lot of the fish coming back into the river and the odd mammal in the dolphins, are due to the cleaning up of the brissie river.

It is well known by scientists that water purity (or lack of) has much more to do with fish stocks than rec fishing. Chuck in the mass clearing of mangroves for housing developments (more pollution) and you have an endangered river and bay.

We have all done things which we would never do now that possibly pollute or kill small fish. Then because someone has learned and passed it on, we start doing more and more right things. One of which Ryan said in his post and stuck with me, about how good it was to watch that big Threadie swim away.

People generally split themselves into two groups when it comes to rubbish and taking care of things, those that want to learn and those who are too lazy to care. There will always be some @#$^ taking fish they shouldn't and leaving bait packets, cans, cig butts and other toxic waste at the places we love to wet a line and more.

Personally i prefer a bag limit of say one over 85cm from march to sept, two under 85cm during same time with a year round max combined limit of two.

And keep up the education, even know-it-alls like me love to learn! :D

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Hey dan, there has to be a way you can get this out to the wider community, tv would obviously be the best way, maybe try writing to ifish or the great south east or something like that??? Or even write an article for one of the fishing mags? It seems that there is still people out there that think threadies are catfish?!?! Let alone know about their breeding cycles etc. I don't know it was just a thought, I'd do it myself but I don't half of what you would about these awesome fish.

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Hi Dan good to see you continuing this thread. As you know it is a subject which is very important to me also. There are many things I would like to add but where to start?.

I will think on it and add my own thoughts and a bit of history about the threadfin in the river later .

Regards Steve.

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since when was there a diffrence in tageting big threadies and little threadies? last time i went fishing i couldnt tell the little fish to rack off and only legal size fish can take the bait, i dont understand if there is so much of a strong push to conserve the fish in breeding times why you guys think its okay to fish for them at all, like last month brisbane boy you put up a report of yourself and nuckle out chasing them dragging a 120cm fish into the boat? i believe in conservation of fish stocks but i find it a bit hard to swallow whats been dished on the subject by certain members who believe its okay for them to go out chasing them but no one else should.

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hi kriso,

its very possible to differentially target big and small, on average. its well known and has been well established and stated a number of times that the mouth/pipeline area holds a large spawning aggregation at this time, the average fish caught in that area and especially right now is a breeding female. i dont think its wise for anyone to be selectively targetting (whether intentionally or not) breeding females at the biggest or possibly only known spawning aggregation during the peak of spawning season

the large fish you're talking about is an unusual catch in an area that normally produces 70-80cm fish, and by all indications is not used as a site for spawning aggregations

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hi kriso, yep totally a good idea to avoid them all together, i've found other species to play with in places that threadies wouldn't even fit into lol

one problem though is if you chuck a livie down in open water its not really possible to add threadfin repellant to it, cant really ask people not to throw livies around at all from sept-feb but one of the best things imo we can do for them is not throw livies around the known spawning aggregations

it is good that we are all talking about it now, the more people that read and pass on information about these beasts the more likely we all are to get onto a few in the future

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totaly agree, with really live bait being the most effective in the river it does make things hard. i guess if people make special note on releasing techniques and proper handling i think that alone can make a good diffrence. i think they need signs up at boat ramps giving an explanation that these are not giant catfish too as everytime i here a report mentioning some drop kick with his "big cattie" really pisses me off as you know it was only destined for the crab pot or to float away being a big chunk of bait.

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Hi guys during the last week or so I have made 2 trips out on the upper reaches targeting small fish to tag for Brad. Last trip I hooked a very large fish amoung a school of small fish tailing on shallow bank eating prawns.This was unexpected and has made me think twice about tagging as I do not target threadfin normaly at this time of year,but thats fishing you never know what you are going to catch.

Regs Steve.

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Information signs, Bag limits, Closed seasons are all very acceptable ideas and in my opinion should be put into place.

So that being said who knows anyone with any sort of pull in these areas?

Time to stop talking and start acting, Nadders you seem very passionate about this maybe a letter or partition to council, Write to bush and beach, Email some pro fisho's, Form a neighborhood watch type of group and don't stop till it's out there!

Just thinking out loud :)

I personally would like to get involved in any of the above so pm me if you like any ideas and if there's anything I could do to help B)

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i believe a bnb article is in the works by chief over at ausfish (dont quote me on that incase im wrong lol), not sure if council is the right authority or even QLD DPI&F for writing up legislation? but studies like brads going on at the moment are required to convince the men in suits to write laws, thats one of brads objectives if im not wrong

neighbourhood watch groups ay. i have a balaclava and a crowbar :D haha

i will have a chat to a few people i know see if ican get a hold of some article writers hey, problem is it can misfire for instance if someone rwites and article but words it poorly and it basically states "heaps of threadfin at the mouth right now go get em" it would be much more harm than good :S

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nadders wrote:

i believe a bnb article is in the works by chief over at ausfish (dont quote me on that incase im wrong lol), not sure if council is the right authority or even QLD DPI&F for writing up legislation? but studies like brads going on at the moment are required to convince the men in suits to write laws, thats one of brads objectives if im not wrong

neighbourhood watch groups ay. i have a balaclava and a crowbar :D haha

i will have a chat to a few people i know see if ican get a hold of some article writers hey, problem is it can misfire for instance if someone rwites and article but words it poorly and it basically states "heaps of threadfin at the mouth right now go get em" it would be much more harm than good :S

I'm a big believer in education is the best way!

If enough people lobby the council you might get your signs ie. "this is not a catfish retards"

And as for the neighborhood watch group I'm not talking vigilante I mean kinda like what the volunteers do up at NPD ? Just need to know someone with some pull :)

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i think smart C&R education with these fish as a focus would be a good thing, lots of people would want to see them swim away but might be unaware of how to ensure that happens, i'm a good example of that myself i have kept afew that wouldn't swim in the past which in hindsight was because i didn't know what i was doing. i might look into contacting someone who can do a c&r article as a start

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i'd be careful with petitioning DPI or EPA about this topic to get some kind of regulations in place about this. two reasons:

1. if it gets more publicity then i can see the greenies getting up in arms about anyone taking any of them at any time of the year and at any size. forget the breeding cycle being outlawed.....you might end up with a total ban on taking the species. i realise that's probably taking things a bit far, but government (our state government in particular) hardly have a history of acting in the best interests of everyone......too often it's appeasing the deeply green minority with token actions - like kicking recreational fishos out of the green zones. i just don't like your chances of getting a sensible action out of the state government

2. in a broad generalisation.......the people who take the big breeders during the breeding cycle (despite knowing they are breeders) probably aren't going to give too much of a fig about whether it's legal or not or whether it's good for the fishery or not.

there's plenty of guys on here and in the community who do care and are keen to see these fish conserved - but there's still the contingent of bogan, fishery-raping pinheads who aren't going to give a toss and probably won't get caught. not to mention certain members of the fishing community who 'speaka no engrish' who the DPI can't be bothered to book when they are caught.

keep pushing it nadders......i'm just a bit cynical about your chances of getting sensible action out of the DPI or EPA

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i have similar reservations 1000yds i think articles and petitions can backfire as well. will have to have a hard think about possible repercussions, the last thing we want to achieve is for previous fishery raping bogans as you put it that wernt aware of where and how to bag out on breeders, becoming more aware because of an article with the opposite intention

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Whatever happens it has to be over a much broader sprectum than AFO members who form only a small section of the fishing community.

Re angler education there is already a group of fishcare volunteers who are passonate about conserving all fisheries not only the thready one.

Council have nothing to do with it the only people who can make changes to legistation is DEEDI under pressure from your local member.

Unless you have support from DEEDI you are wasting your time and the first thing that they will think about will be the commercial impact of what you are attempting.

If you think that there is enough momentum to bring about changes the first thing to do is to make an appointment to see your local MP and put the weights on them.

They can either bring it up in the party room. ( Best chances of success)

Submitt a local members bill. ( Little chance especially if they are in opposition)

Get the member to start an E pertition which so far seems to have an 100% failure rate but in itself may be enough to start people thinking and there has to be a first time sometime.

Since Tom Burns left politics the amateur fishos have had a very raw deal from the pollys.

Peter Dowling from Redlands at least will listen and offer advice. he would be a good person to start talking to.

Welcome to the world of political lobbying and intrigue.

You always seem to find another group who are against what you are trying to achieve.

Good Luck

Ray

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i love the threadies in the river for sport and for a feed

now it's time to play devils advocate

having just read right through the preceeding threads and this one

and it left me feeling dirty

i want you guys who are raving about this to go back through the thread and read what you have written BUT where apt replace "threadfin" with "moreton bay"

be logical about it this isnt a joke,

you sound like a bunch of epa staffers at a meeting with a green group

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im not pushing for any laws or restrictions just common sense, if we know a certain area holds a large number of breeding stock and that large number of breeding stock is in th eprocess of spawning from sept-feb then a logical response is to leave them alone

i havent conducted a research project (brad is in the middle of one and im sure agrees with the sentiments in this thread) but from data taken up north from commercially fished rivers like the fitzroy, the ratio of males to females is very high, until we know either way if thats the case or not down here why not be sensible about not targetting the area that holds mostly female fish?

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no, the point is to avoid the main spawning aggregation in the river during spawning time, i said a number of times its not practical to ban livebaiting but consider livebaiting in other areas and chasing other species during the season, or the same species but smaller models away from the spawning sites

live bait, tranzams, the method of targetting is irrelevant, the point is we know where th spawning aggregation is so lets avoid it until they're done so we can continue to enjoy their presence

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This has been an interesting thread and I appreciate everyone's input. I would like to perhaps steer it in a slightly different direction, which if the mods see fit could merit a seperate thread.

So far we've established that Sept - Feb is Threadie breeding season and those 1m+ fish are breeding females and must be released. It's also been established that best practice is NOT TO TARGET the fish.

Here's where I want to ask; if not targeting Threadies, then what should we be targeting? Where should we be fishing; and what bait/style/techniques should we be using that would minimize Threadie takes, but still maximize our chances at either having a top day out and catching ourselves a feed?

Obviously, with the amount of Threadies in the river at the moment, even not targeting them, there will still be significant Threadfin Salmon by-catch. But I'm sure if we are smart about it, and educate each other, this could be minimized greatly and we can all have a bitchin' day/night out catching scaley monsters of the deep. :)

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