Native fish numbers in south-east Queensland’s Callide Dam are on the way back up after being almost wiped out four years ago.
Fisheries Queensland principal scientist Dr Peter Kind said the lake’s fish population was decimated after low water temperatures killed approximately 12,000 stocked barramundi. “This dam, located about 12km from Biloela, is a very popular recreational fishing spot – a kill of this size could have impacted on the local economy,” Dr Kind said.
“As late as January 2010, dam water levels were around just 6 per cent which was also affecting stocks, but after recent heavy rainfall in the area, the level has risen to 25 per cent capacity.”
Dr Kind said Fisheries Queensland had, since 2008, been working closely with the local fish stocking group to release over 100,000 fingerlings into the impoundment to rebuild stocks.
“Thanks to the work of the Callide Valley Native Fish Stocking Group, Callide Dam is now home to an additional 36,000 barramundi, 64,000 golden perch, 2,200 sleepy cod and more than 200 saratoga,” he said.
A Callide Dam barra comes to the net. Pic: Mick Fletoridis
Mr Daryl Cupitt from the Callide Valley Native Fish Stocking Group said as part of the cooperative approach by Fisheries Queensland and the fish stocking group, a post-stocking survey was conducted in April 2010.
“The survey was carried out to ensure optimal survival rates of the introduced fingerlings and to be vigilant about potential pest fish species,” Mr Cupitt said.
“Data collected from the survey indicated excellent survival and growth rates of the stocked fish and no evidence of any pest fish species.
“The average size of barramundi lost in the fish kill was around one metre but the barra stocked since then are measuring in at 600mm already,” he said.
Callide Dam is one of 33 dams in QLD’s Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) scheme, which allows fishing with a permit.
For more information on the Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) scheme visit www.deedi.qld.gov.au and click on Fisheries.