Grey nomad concern over dwindling fish stocks

IN 2008, I spent three months fishing Karumba from my 3.7m tinny and living in our caravan, as hundreds of “grey nomads” from down south do each year.

Being a retired fishing charter boat owner from the Gold Coast, I am well aware of the pressure on costal reefs, bays and rivers by recreational fishermen.

This led me to question then whether the Karumba fishery was sustainable.

I have been back every year since 2008, but only for a week at a time. I now, along with other grey nomads, can see each fishing year is not as good as the last.

This year, by all reports, saw the caravan parks slow to fill due to reports coming out of Karumba that the fish were nowhere to be seen and now at the first week of July they are still missing.

This has led to a number of possible reasons why being thrown up by the nomads, including: The water’s too hot. There is too much food out wide, so the fish are staying out there. The water’s too cold. The fish don’t know there is plenty of food in the river. The tides are all wrong. There’s too much wind. And so on…


Where are the fish? Gordon Petersen with a nice Karumba barra.

While any of the aforementioned reasons could be contributing factors in the decline of Karumba’s fishery, a letter written by fellow grey nomad Ray Walters may be closer to the mark. In 2008, I met Ray who was that concerned with the sustainability of the Karumba fishery he wrote a letter to DPI Fisheries Queensland.

Here is Ray’s letter below.


Update – July 10: Out of the usual six fish species that have usually turned up by this time, grunter have been prevalent in the Norman River. As a result, in one day they were targeted by 180 boats in a half mile stretch of the river. My contact tells me that 50 per cent of the fish were in roe and every boat got their bag limit.
Ray may just be right…

See related story HERE.

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