A promising start for the runoff

NORMALLY, fishermen that are heading to the Northern Territory this year to chase the barra will be keeping an eye on the amount of rain we have been getting around Darwin at this time of year. The river that has been in the news the most lately is the mighty Daly. The Daly has been sitting between 14 and 15m the last 10 days or so and at those heights is causing major flooding through the Daly River Community. Everyone in the community has been evacuated to Darwin to wait for the flood waters to drop so the clean-up can start.

The Mango Farm on the Daly had over 780mm of rain during the week and there have been plenty of rainfall records broken over the period. The low that dumped all of this rain moved from south of Katherine to the north west, and then back south again. The Victoria River, Daly River and the Finniss River benefited the most from this rain with rises in all these rivers. The coastal areas between the Vic River and Darwin had a good drenching which is what we need for good run-off fishing to happen. When the water in the rivers start to drop all those drains and small coastal creeks will start to pump out clean/brackish waters off the flood plains which is what barra fisherman love to see.

We went for a drive to Shady Camp just after Christmas for a look and I was surprised at the lack of water to be seen along the road on the drive in. Although the ground was wet there was no water flowing in any of the creeks or culverts on the way in once you turned off the Arnhem Highway. When we got to the Barrage it was just flowing over with people walking across in ankle deep water. We had a fish along with about 30 other people and saw 3 small barra landed.

The Adelaide River on the drive out was high and the flood plains either side were close to going over the Arnhem Highway. The Mary River at Bridge Billabong was high as well and this will eventually make its way towards Shady Camp but all of this area east of Darwin needs a good dumping of coastal rain to get things looking really good.

It’s only early yet and here’s hoping we get plenty more rain to keep the good start going. Everyone is keen to get out on the water and I’m sure once the Daly drops plenty of boats will be heading down that way for an early shot at some run-off fishing. I’ll keep you posted with more updates over the next six or eight weeks.

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