Tasmania this week

A Great Lake trout, taken last week. Picture Tim Wright
Carl Hyland
Whilst mainland counterparts are enjoying warm to hot weather, the Island State is finding it hard to crack temperatures above 15C. This means that normally anglers are enjoying good fishing activity around the state, but for the foreseeable future, the prospects are not so good.

Whilst it is hard to stay focused on the fact that brine in estuaries has a lot of fresh water mixed in it, the outlook for saltwater angling is looking good. I must make mention of the vast amounts of food in the form of worms, invertebrates and crustaceans being washed in and providing an abundant food source for lots of different species. Species such as black bream and mullet, plus Australian salmon and even tiger Flathead, all of which are starting to show in angler’s bags.

Mixed bags are the order of the day.
Carl Hyland

Even pelagic species such as Yellowtail Kingfish, which normally like water temperatures around the 18C mark, have been appearing in the North Tamar River although only on odd occasion’s. These true pelagic fish seem to be mixed up with the vast schools of Australian salmon that are currently present.

The author with his 4lb Brown from Pipers River.
Carl Hyland

Freshwater is where all the action appears to be at this time; with some substantial fish being caught from within Tasmania’s myriad of waterways that are full to bursting. This bodes well for a great trout season ahead. News from Tassie’s Inland Fisheries Service is many and varied and here are a few topics of late that readers might find interesting;

In an exciting breakthrough male carp that have been sterilized are being implanted with radio transmitters. Juvenile male carp, captured from Lake Sorell, were identified using ultrasound in trials undertaken last summer and then allowed to mature to a point where they were producing sperm in autumn. A number of fish were then either surgically or chemically sterilized. The fish were allowed to recover over winter with regular checks to monitor their condition.

The warming water temperatures in spring would normally see an increase in sperm production as the fish prepare to spawn. This has allowed a check to be made to test the success of the sterilization techniques that have been applied.

Today carp that have been monitored and identified as sterile were implanted with radio transmitters containing an individual radio frequency built by Advance Telemetry Systems. The 'Judas fish' will be held for a week to ensure recovery at which point they will be released back into the wilds of Lake Sorell. Over the coming months the sterile fish will be monitored alongside non sterile transmitter fish to ensure that the sterilization process has not altered their behavior as they will become a vital part of the strategy to catch the last female carp from the lake in coming years.

The timing of this deployment has been planned to use a carp sex bias that is currently occurring in Lake Sorell where the young male carp have begun to mature yet the females appear to be a couple of years away from being able to spawn. This provides an opportunity to trial sterile/non sterile 'Judas carp' side by side and assess their ability to betray the locations of wild carp in the lake. It should ensure that when the non-sterile transmitter fish are removed next year that the program has method of safely tracking and following carp movements throughout the lake and enable the targeting of the last females while avoiding the risk of 'Judas' males being involved in spawning events.

This project is being coordinated by consulting scientist Dr Jawahar Patil, veterinary surgeon Dr Andrew Nicholson, Assoc Prof Dr John Purser and Honours student Mark Sangtain from UTAS with funding supplied by the Fisheries Research Development Corporation and the Inland Fisheries Service.

Under the willows is a great spot for lurking trout.
Carl Hyland

Rainbow trout season opens.
Whilst the majority of rivers and lake opened on 3 August 2013 for the 2013/2014 angling season, there are a few that remain closed until the Saturday 28 September 2013. These waters are known as rainbow trout waters and close 1 June 2014.

These waters are; Junction Lake, Lake Meston, Lake Youd, Dee Lagoon, Lake Rowallan, Lake Skinner, the Weld rivers (both North and South), parts of the River Leven and the Mersey River above Lake Rowallan.

Please check the 2013/2014 Tasmanian Inland Fishing Code that you should have as part of your licence purchase for regulations regarding these waters as some are restricted to artificial methods only and others are discrete sections of rivers. This code is also available from the website

If you are contemplating a visit to Tasmania for either a fishing holiday or even planning a move here check out our website and here you can also obtain all the info on obtaining licenses plus links to other great fishing sites in Tasmania.

Until next time, take care!
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