Rhys's cod catch - supporting local science
Young Kyabram angler Rhys Ellis was excited when he caught a 17kg Murray Cod from the Broken Creek earlier this month (as reported by Gus Underwood, July 11 2008) , but didn't realise his catch would also contribute to findings of a native fish monitoring program sponsored by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GB CMA).
Data gathered from a tag inserted into the fish as part of the program, showed it had been earlier released not far from where it was caught.
GB CMA Manager of Strategic River Health Wayne Tennant said a catch like this is always a positive sign of river health.
"The information gathered using this technology gives us a greater understanding of the dynamics of fish movement and habitat requirements.
"The program is aimed at improving the health of fish populations in the Broken Creek system," said Mr Tennant.
"The tagging was undertaken to monitor the movement of fish during the drawdown of Kennedys Weir as part of a project to monitor the movement of native fish during low stream flow conditions."
Mr Tennant added the radio tag has a shelf life of about 12 months, so it was timely that the fish was recorded at this time from release. The smaller PIT tag (found near the fin of the larger fish) does not require an internal power source but is activated by readers strategically placed throughout the lower Broken Creek and as such enables movement to be monitored for the life of this fish".
"Responsible fishing and reporting of tagged fish is encouraged by the Authority. Returning undersized fish will help safeguard the species and ensure its protection for future generations," Wayne Tennant said.
Mr Tennant said many fishermen already applied a "catch and release" philosophy for smaller fish.
"Fishermen who apply this philosophy provide a direct contribution to the long-term survival of the species," he said.
Reporting any recaptures of tagged fish is encouraged as it enables researchers to monitor the fate of tagged fish.'
For more information contact the GB CMA 58 201 100 or visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au