Friday, 10 May 2019 18:24

A Great Day Fishing

The weather was perfect for Gunning District Landcare’s inaugural redfin fishing competition for kids and teens on Tuesday 23rd April. Fifty-three fishers lined up along Meadow Creek with their rods was a sight to behold. A good number of mums, dads, grandmas and grandads watched on and helped out the younger ones – all the while enjoying the still, warm autumn day. The total haul from the competition was 34 redfin and one enormous carp. Ben Heath of Goulburn took out the prize for the biggest redfin of the day. The same Ben also caught the largest number of redfin in the older age group, closely followed by Gunning keen fisher Ben Gorey. Tom Hinds caught the most redfin in the younger age group, and Angus Mackay got a prize for catching a redfin closest to a ‘mystery’ weight. Two other prizes went to names drawn out of a hat, including 6-year-old twin fishing enthusiasts and a first timer who successfully caught a fish on the day.

Fish expert Mark Lintermans from the University of Canberra weighed and measured all the fish and explained why redfin are so destructive in our local waterways. In short, they are voracious predators of native fish – including the endangered Southern Pygmy Perch which have been found in the Gunning district and are the focus of conservation efforts by Gunning District Landcare. The competition was also a contribution to citizen science; keeping records of the numbers and species of fish caught over a measured time period can help scientists like Mark Lintermans keep track of the ecological health of our creeks and rivers.

Thanks to everyone who participated and made it a great day. A big thank you also goes to those who helped out – including Mark Lintermans, Janet Heffernan, Dan O’Brien, Mardi Lees, Gillian Malcolm, and Scott Keyworth. A special thanks goes to Vanessa and Angus Mackay for starting the conversation about redfin in Meadow Creek, and to the Lions Club of Gunning for putting on yet another great sausage sizzle for the hungry fishers. Vanessa Mackay and Marlene Duus supplied some of the photos above.

Several businesses generously donated prizes for which we are very grateful: Yass Outdoor Sports & Camping, Lilac City Cinema, and BCF Goulburn. Mark Lintermans also donated several copies of his book Wet and Wild.