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Tasmania, the year that was.

by Carl Hyland on 21 Dec 2012
TAS CRAY POT Carl Hyland
Recreational anglers in Tasmania have had a hard year in 2012. With the toxic algal bloom along the East Coast plus inclement weather, many have hung up their rods and pots until the situations improve.

I live on the North Coast of the state and have never known winds like we have had for the past four months. Winter time was dismal with inclement weather starting in March and continuing right through to November. In saying that, there have been some great times in between where some great fishing has been had, for instance, the squid fishing this year has been sensational and the trout scene is kicking along nicely. Atlantic salmon stockings have kept a lot of anglers happy and the transfer of adult spawning trout from the Great Lakes throughout Tasmanian waterways has also been a blessing.



Here’s the latest on the rock lobster fishery…….A naturally occurring algal bloom of the species Alexandrium tamarense continues to affect Tasmania’s East Coast between Eddystone Point and Marion Bay. Commercial wild catch and aquaculture shellfish farms in the affected area continue to be monitored and closures apply where necessary.

Water quality is being tested regularly and results communicated with the industry and the public.
Latest test results show that cell counts of Alexandrium tamarense continue to fluctuate but remain at low levels.Tests are being conducted for the presence of paralytic shellfish toxins (PST).
Commercial shellfish harvesting – harvesting has resumed in most growing areas on Tasmania's east coast, but remains subject to intensive monitoring.

Strict protocols are in place to prevent shellfish with unsafe PST levels reaching the market.Daily management of commercial bi-valve aquaculture areas is occurring. These areas produce oysters, mussels and clams.The commercial bi-valve growing areas are being monitored weekly for toxic algal cells and toxins in the shellfish. This intensive monitoring process allows for appropriate harvest management in each growing area.


Seafood Safe To Consume:Seafood in shops – Seafood bought from retail outlets is safe to consume.

Abalone, periwinkles and sea-urchins – Recent tests results have shown that there is no significant level of PST in abalone, periwinkles and sea-urchins and these species are safe to consume.


Seafood Health Warnings:Crayfish and Crabs – A public health warning remains current for crayfish and crabs between Marion Bay and Eddystone Point.

Do not eat the gut of crayfish taken between Marion Bay and Eddystone Point. As a precaution, do not eat the gut of crabs from this section of the coast.

The flesh of these species is safe to eat provided it is thoroughly washed and all gut residues removed. Oysters, Clams, Pippis and Mussels – Do not eat recreationally-harvested oysters, clams, pippis or mussels. PSTs have been detected in high levels is some areas outside of commercial harvest zones.

Scallop Roe – Do not eat wild-harvested scallop roe from the affected area.

General Precautions:

While toxic algal readings are very low, a health alert is necessary.

It can take some time for toxins to purge, and purging rates vary between species.Symptoms of PST poisoning include tingling or 'pins and needles' or numbness in the mouth, face, or arms and legs, weakness or loss of coordination of the arms or legs or unsteadiness on the feet. These symptoms can commence within 15 minutes to 12 hours of eating affected seafood.

Anyone experiencing these symptoms after eating wild seafood from or near the affected area should seek immediate medical attention.

Cooking does not destroy the toxins.

Information Hotline Free Call on 1800 671 738

There are no indicators present to give us a time frame on when this ban may be lifted, but I will keep everyone posted with alerts and news as it comes to hand.

As I mentioned, the freshwater scene is going nicely, with some great trout being taken in a lot of estuaries and in fresh water impoundments. With weather slowly warming most inland waters, fish tend to stay deep until cooler conditions prevail and obviously, first light and late evening a good times to fish. Big gum beetle hatches are occurring at places like Authurs Lake and Great Lake so lures, flies matched to gum beetle patters will often bring success.



In lowland streams, willow grubs are falling on to the water, so a small green grub pattern will often get you amongst big fish, especially in places such as the Meander and South Esk.



Recent stocking of fry into lakes and rivers will boost local fish populations.
Source www.ifs.tas.gov.au



Finally, I’d like to wish everyone the very best for the festive season and look forward to being back with you early in the New Year.

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