Surat fishing club boosts fish stocks

Surat Fishing and Restocking Club members Glen Neilsen, Yvonne Thrupp, Nicola Gear and Greg Richardson boated up the Balonne River releasing Murray Cod fingerlings on Saturday.
Surat Fishing and Restocking Club members Glen Neilsen, Yvonne Thrupp, Nicola Gear and Greg Richardson boated up the Balonne River releasing Murray Cod fingerlings on Saturday.

DESPITE the State Government cutting off their funding, the Surat Fishing and Restocking Club are determined to make sure native fish and good fishing stay in the Balonne.

On Saturday club members gathered to release a batch of over 6500 Murray cod fingerlings into the river.

Club president Greg Richardson said they also planned to release a batch of native yellow bellies on Australia Day.

"We normally release silver perch fingerlings as well, but we won't be doing that this year unless we get some funding," Mr Richardson said.

The numbers of native fish in the river have drastically reduced since the infamous pest, the European carp, was introduced into the waterways.

But Mr Richardson said the restocking program has been making a difference and they have noticed much better fishing in the last couple of years.

"Twenty years ago you couldn't catch anything but carp, but now we're seeing more native fish being caught, especially in the last couple of years," Mr Richardson said.

Last year the State Government cut off the fishing club's funding and it now relies purely on donations and the money raised from events, such as Carp Buster's competitions.

Mr Richardson said Surat is hosting the Carp Busters final on May 4 and 5 which will help raise money for the club.

"We're going to have people from all the other Carp Buster competition areas coming," Mr Richardson said.

Topics:  balonne river fishing maranoa surat

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