Anglers hopping mad over dropping lake level

Anglers fishing Lake Eucumbene in the Snowy Mountains in late October were pleased to see that rising waters had created perfect spawning conditions for endangered native frogs. The significant amount of frog spawn evident around the lake margins belied the notion that trout were a significant factor in the frog’s decline – in the most trout dense water in the State, frogs were in abundance.

By early November the lake had ceased rising and began to fall despite heavy rains and flood conditions occurring throughout NSW. Lake Eucumbene’s abundant frog spawn was left high and dry. Caring anglers reportedly scurried around the lake margin; lifting spawn blobs and putting them back into the water, only to see the cycle continue as the waters relentlessly receded.

According to Steve Samuels, President of the Monaro Acclimatisation Society, the cause of the rapidly dropping lake level was due to a large sustained release of water from Khancoban Dam, lower down in the Snowy’s hydro electricity scheme.

“Snowy Hydro certainly kept silent and no amount of trying could elicit an answer as to why water was being released into a flooded system,” said Samuels.

“So once again anglers are up in arms over the unnecessary and brutal treatment of endangered frogs – we stand alone in this with no support from the Greens, the Government or any bureaucratic department.”

“How ironic that Snowy Hydro thought it appropriate to release water under the guise of an environmental release, but at the same time ignored the obvious consequence that the same release would be environmentally damaging above and below the release site,” he concluded.

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