Jump to content

Lake Cargelligo Fishes For The Future


Recommended Posts

Lake Cargelligo fishes for the future

Environment and economics go hand in hand in a big inland fishing competition. The Lake Cargellico community has found a way to get a benefit out of a problem.

John Robberds is the organiser of Fisherama which takes place late in the year at Lake Cargellico and the neighbouring rivers. Fisherama is not just about a tourist event for the town, which used to suffer because of its isolation and lack of sealed roads. It's also a way to keep down the numbers of the introduced european carp.

The event started six years ago, John says, when Lachlan shire council put up some funding and the local pub also got involved. Now 250-300 people attend each year from all over the state and from cities along the eastern seaboard as well.

The organisers put some thought into how to attract entrants while at the same time encouraging them to catch plenty of carp. There are "thousands of carp in the Lachlan and the lake", he says. They're great survivors, burrowing down into the mud to wait for better times.

The competition prizes have been designed to encourage participation rather than simply catching big fish. People are given a number each time they catch a fish, explains John and those numbers are placed into a prize draw. As well, when people register, they're given a number to be placed into a draw for a door prize of $500 - or should that be dory prize?

There are 30 prizes to be won, in both adults and junior categories, says John.

The proceeds from Fisherama are matched dollar for dollar by NSW Fisheries, John explains and are used to release cod and golden perch fingerlings back into the system.

Lake Cargellico is only at about 10 per cent of capacity at the moment. It's about 600k west of Sydney and explorer John Oxley was the first european to see it. Gold figures in the district's history and now wool and wheat. The lake is very important to the area's recreation appeal but at the moment, levels are too low to allow waterskiing.

If the levels are still too low for boats to easily launch the competition will move into the rivers, says John. He sounds confident that by October, all will be well.

Perhaps he's learned that a philosophical nature goes hand in hand with being a fisherman. "If you get the line in the right spot, you'll win," he says. What's the biggest he's caught?

"A 50lb cod," is the answer. "Actually, (I've) caught three over the last 20 years. Two in the lake and one in the Darling." The Darling is best overall for the cod, John feels. When you catch one that big, the whole boat feels the excitement, he says. "It puts your heart in your mouth."

Like all good fisherfolk, John has a 'one that got away' story. His was a 75 pound cod in the Darling. While he got some gloves on, John instructed his brother to hold it. The way to catch cod that big is to swim them alongside for a while, he explains, tire them out and get the gloves on and lift them in. Instead, his brother tried to pull it into the boat and of course, "bent the hook". That is, for all the non fishing types, straightened the hook and the cod got away.

But John doesn't hold it against his sibling. "It was inexperience and excitement," he says. In any case, he adds, it was a light hook, a No 6 and about half as heavy as it should have been.

John's brother could be excused for his lack of knowledge. He went to live on the coast, says John, and climbed to top management with BHP. "I stayed in the bush."

There are good committees in the town to promote the Lake, says John. "It's amazing what they've been able to achieve." Despite the community's best efforts, John knows that they will not be rid of carp in the Lake. That will take research and probably biological controls, he thinks.

Everywhere you'll find knockers, he admits, "especially in a small town", but he's a great believer in working together to get things done.

Fisherama will be held on the 19th, 20th and 21st of October in 2007.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Pete.

I haven't had a chance to say Welcome back mate. Hope your on the mend. :thumbup:

The lake! That's very interesting, I go there quite a bit in recent months & never knew about this comp. We have some work at Lake Cargelligo (Actually already started last year & should be back real soon to finish) I guess we'd better hone our Carp skills if we end up back there around Oct.

The Lake is a surprising peice of water in that district. The country is VERY dry at the moment & would be a real eye opener to any non-experienced coastie to see first hand. But even as dry as it is there is still a fair water mass (Albeit shallow)

I knew there were Cod in there as once when we were working there a bloke we knew (Visitor like us) caught himself a nice 60cm model & fairly shocked himeself at his catch, was expecting a yella belly.

Thanks for the info mate.

PS - Anyone thinking of taking a look at this comp PM me, I'll supply first days celabratory drinks!

Edited by Boofhead
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...