Sofala Carp Blitz boost for native fish

THE Sofala Carp Blitz, after being rescheduled due to flooding, attracted a good crowd with 182 anglers registering for the event on the bank of the Turon river at Sofala, NSW.

Aimed at reducing the numbers of invasive pest species in the river the event also raises funds for Sofala CAS to purchase native fish to restock the Turon catchment via the NSW DPI Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Restocking Program which is funded by the Freshwater Recreational Fishing Trust from fishing licence fees.

The Turon River is in excellent condition after experiencing impacts from the drought which saw the River ceasing to flow for many months with only the main refuge pools holding water resulting in fish kills along the length of the river. Once the river started to flow and connected the refuge pools the numbers of invasive species have been increasing and anglers at this years carp blitz reported that carp were in spawning mode and harder to catch, however those who persisted were able to bring 242 European Carp and 85 redfin perch to the weigh in with some anglers who walked longer distances choosing to only carry back their larger carp. The numbers of redfin weighed increased from previous years where less than 20 of the species would be weighed.

Anglers who fished upstream of Sofala also reported catching a large percentage of Rrainbow trout, a result of stocking by Sofala CAS with fish from the NSW DPI Dutton Trout Hatchery over the past three years, with one young lady catching a 56cm rainbow while fishing the event. There were also reports of native fish being caught & released during the event with one fly angler getting dusted by a good Murray cod indicating the importance of refuge pools during the drought for natives to hold up until conditions improve.

From an organisers view it was pleasing to see the increasing numbers of junior anglers who enjoyed receiving prizes at the presentation from supporters Pure Fishing, NSW DPI Fisheries, Kayaks 2 Fish Bathurst, Fishing World, BCF Bathurst and Platinum Marine & Machinery.

A fund raiser for Daffodil Cottage Cancer Care saw just over $985.00 going to the centre thanks to a days guided fly fishing on the Turon with Peter Morse and a day with Royce Shanks fishing for Luderick in Sydney and the Huge Raffle draw resulted in happy anglers leaving with prizes donated by The Inland Waterways Rejuvenation Association, Kayaks 2 Fish, Bathurst Regional Cranes, Gavin Carter Concreting, Agile Arbor, Rustic Café Sofala,4WD Zone Bathurst & Ryder Homestead as well as 2 gold nuggets donated by local prospectors.

Biggest carp went to Jake Pollard 15.2lb with Christy Healy weighing a 11.5lb carp to win the ladies biggest fish.

Sofala Branch of Central Acclimatisation Society thanked all the anglers and supporters of the Sofala Carp Blitz who contribute to native fish restocking in the Turon River to achieve better opportunities for recreational anglers.

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