FRESHWATER anglers in NSW have confirmed the presence of the introduced pest species, redfin, in Lake Lyell near Lithgow.
The lake nestled at the foot of the Blue Mountains is a popular fishing destination for many of the region’s freshwater anglers as it has been well stocked with brown and rainbow trout and Australian bass.
Fisho was first alerted to the presence of the introduced pest species by Mark Thomas – brother of Fisho staffer Scott Thomas – who caught redfin while fishing at Lake Lyell last week. Since then we have heard of numerous reports of redfin catches from anglers, including one by Eddie Savkovic, confirmed by inland fishing expert Ken Smith.
Redfin caught at lake Lyell, November 7.
According to the NSW DPI, the redfin was listed as a Class 1 noxious fish in NSW in December 2010. The species was first introduced to Australia in the 1860s for angling, and are now widespread across much of NSW, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, south-eastern South Australia and the south-western corner of Western Australia.
They are voracious predators of other fish and invertebrates, can destroy recreational fisheries in enclosed waters by building up large numbers of stunted fish and eliminating other species, and can devastate native fish populations by carrying the epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN) virus.
Lyell regulars such as Ken Smith are now concerned the lake will end up the way of the region’s Ben Chifley Dam and Lake Oberon with the fisheries in these waterways suffering after redfin became established.
Fisho understands NSW DPI has confirmed the presence of redfin in Lake Lyell, but as yet has not released an official notification.