Daly River 2022

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by NinjaFish » Sun Mar 06, 2022 8:42 am




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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn » Sun Mar 06, 2022 6:42 pm

Great link. Story is both discouraging and encouraging, it is encouraging to know that rivers have flowed low and slow without climate change, but discouraging to know we are heading towards an ecosystem disaster because of excess water allocations.

Nature is already pushed to the limit with pollution, overharvesting etc.

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by NinjaFish » Mon Mar 07, 2022 7:50 am

It certainly backs up WW’s observations that I ponder and appreciate.

“We find that while streamflow has been increasing since the 1800s, the most recent 40-year period is unprecedented in the last ~600 years. Comparison to an independent coral-based streamflow record shows regional coherency in this trend. Extreme high flows were found to be linked to La Niña events, but we found no significant relationship between streamflow and El Niño events, or streamflow and other regional climatic drivers. More work is therefore needed to understand the drivers of the recent stream flow increase,but,regardless of the cause, water managers should be aware of the paleoclimatic context before making decisions on water allocations.”

The full report .

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com ... 21WR030881

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn » Mon Mar 07, 2022 4:37 pm

It certainly backs up WW’s observations that I ponder and appreciate.
Likewise :fishing:

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by wonderwobler » Thu Mar 17, 2022 3:53 pm

It was a few days after Easter 1983 that I first laid eyes on the Daly River, I had an 11 foot car topper and an 8hp Suzuki, no electronics or comfy seats. Tackle comprised of a couple of Ugly Sticks, one with an ABU 5000 and the other with a much cherished ABU 4600 with a thumb bar, both loaded with 8kg mono. A small collection of Spearheads, Invincible’s and ABU Toby’s plus a couple of Mister Twisters and WonderWobblers. Yes spelt with two B’s!

I camped at Browns creek, it was evident by the scars in the landscape that this was a popular camping spot, boats where launched by gravity sliding down the steep bank and dragged up by four wheel drives. There were a few camps still occupied after Easter, I struck up a conversation with a bloke who was also camped alone and I quickly figured out he was a Territorian and regular visitor to the Daly.

At that point I had done two full days on the water without success, there were fish being eaten in the camps around me just to keep me keen, Old mate offered to share his boat the next day and take me to one of his spots, I tried not to show my excitement and slept lightly that night.

His boat was a 12 foot Brooker with a 25hp Evinrude. We left camp in near darkness and like many young men we thought we were bulletproof, well he did. I was crapping myself at the speed his boat was capable of, I had seen the snags and bars in the previous days in my boat and had visions of being catapulted in to this river with the crocodiles, and I puckered up and held on with white knuckles.

I relaxed a little when the sunlight broke over the horizon, my skipper Steve shouted that we will be there soon. I could see an upwelling of a bar ahead that I now know as Kangaroo rock, he actually slowed down and cautiously navigated what seemed to be a narrow channel on the Port side. Shortly later we came to a creek known as No Fish creek. There was a boat with two blokes in the mouth of the creek, they looked to be bait fishing. Steve was disappointed, and mumbled something about crowds.

We entered a section of the river a little bit further down steam of the creek Steve called the S bends. He said we will troll this area for a while and watch the tide. I was aware that the river was tidal and had experienced the ebb and flows of the tide in the days earlier that I had fished upstream of Browns creek where I encountered a number of other boats fishing. It had not occurred to me that a tidal bore could be experienced in this wonderful river.I learnt that lesson another time.

As the water slowed on its way to the bottom of the tide Steve hooked a Barra on a blue and white spearhead, a fish of around the 60cm jumped and performed well, no landing net in the boat, a homemade gaff appeared from behind the skipper and blood and scales where soon on the deck. Catch and release or measuring length was not part of the culture yet.

During that day we talked of many things, I tried to keep it focused on Barra and this river. The only boat we saw that day was the one at No Fish creek, I wondered how it got that name, Steve said it got the name because dependent on the river height the Pro’s would net the creek and clean it out. I was stunned, he went on to tell me of other creeks and sections like Elizabeth and Clear creek that are regularly netted, so much so that it was not worth the effort to travel those long distances, not to mention the hazard of hitting a net with your boat. He said the netters rarely went up past the rock bar (Kangaroo rock)

I caught four Barra over the next week, all on lures, I was pretty happy. I was also deeply in love with the river. In those early years I bumped into Steve a few times on the river. I don’t know what happened to him.
The “run off” was largely unknown. Trailer boats were uncommon. It was an expedition to go to the Daly, the road was cr.p, no boat ramps, the only time numbers of people were there was Easter and long weekends, and even then there was very few boats down stream of Kangaroo rock. Probably because the fishing was poor, in fact there were more people camped at the low level crossing and fishing upstream than in the tidal zone of the river.

Things have changed, largely because a small group of Anglers became active advocates for recreational fishing in the mid 80’s through to the early 90’s. By good fortune there were a couple of sympathetic politicians who could see the value of a growing participation in recreational fishing, particularly Barra fishing, it had tourism potential written all over it.

Some decisions that were made appeared to be radical, bag limits and size parameters were unpopular with some people, the catch and release culture was broadly introduced, slowly accepted and is now a part of fishing culture, everywhere.
The big ticket item though was ending the netting in the rivers and the buyback of netting licenses. The Daly was first and indeed was at the time described by the politicians as being handed over to the public exclusively for recreational fishing.

This in turn drove the improvement of roads, the establishment of boat ramps, the development of tourist parks and the facilities they provide. It’s no longer an expedition to the Daly. The fishing improved and the popularity of competition fishing increased, the media exposure was significant.

The rivers reputation as a pristine wilderness river grew. Knowledge of its existence has spread over the entire Continent. A wild river that always flows. A river that’s underutilized, a river that has an abundance of water resource being wasted as it flows out to the sea. Big agribusiness sees an opportunity to capitalize on this resource. Hold on that’s not what we had in mind, Is it?

The rivers fishery improved with the restrictions in place on both the recreational and commercial sectors.
The current NT fisheries management sees an opportunity to increase the utilization of this improved resource. The bureaucrats who deal with the commercial fishing businesses have created a management system that is biased towards the commercial sector. They see the recreational sector as spoilt brats who have capitalized on sympathetic politicians of the past.

These bureaucrats are actively planning a significant change in the current system that includes a greater percentage of the resource (Barra) being allocated to the commercial sector. This will be achieved by moving the netting closure lines deeper into the rivers, described as under-utilized areas. Ending the closed season on harvesting and rejecting any proposal to introduce harvest quotas or variable harvest quotas based on wet season conditions.

Does not sound like the river being handed over to the public for recreational fishing to me. Sounds more like a small number of people seeking to profiteer on a finite resource supported by bureaucrats with a conflict of interest that they hope will also secure their future career or financial position.

Happy fishing.

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by theodosius » Thu Mar 17, 2022 5:14 pm

Great yarn, hope we can protect it into the future

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn » Fri Mar 18, 2022 7:53 pm

I hope this isn't happening. Having a great wild fishery doesn't just attract paying tourists, it also provides a lifestyle benefit that helps retain people in the NT.

Queensland has made great strides developing its barramundi fishery, with stocked dams and more recently large area net closures, so it would seem not a good time for NT managers to reduce the fish stocks available to recreational fishos.

The NT's Million Dollar Fish is a great incentive to fish the Top End, but I suspect most people make the long trip, or choose to live in the NT, because they can enjoy what's left of pristine habitat, and an abundance of fish, with fewer boats around than most interstate locations.

It was a long hard battle getting the NT's nets out, we were lucky, I'd hate to see it wound back, especially given the uncertainties around the changing climate and future water use.

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by bigwoody » Sat Mar 19, 2022 8:41 am

I doubt anyone believes that a lottery game like the Million Dollar Fish actually influences people to travel to the NT or move here to live. People from all over the place register a FREE entry into this lottery, there are prizes to be one that don't need people to travel to the NT or be fishing or fish to be caught. I think over the 6 or seven years only one tourist has caught a tagged fish.

Matt you are spot on with your opinion that the only real attraction the NT has is its natural environment. In the following attachment the cotton farmers get an ominous mention, where will they get the water they need from?

www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-19/wet-seas ... /100921152
Optimistic Pessimist

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by scottmac » Sun Mar 20, 2022 9:04 am

Reintroducing netting into the rivers would be political suicide I would think.

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by wonderwobler » Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:31 am

scottmac wrote:
Sun Mar 20, 2022 9:04 am
Reintroducing netting into the rivers would be political suicide I would think.
If only that where possible, there would be a list of unemployed politicians.

The netting closure lines in the rivers are not only variable in location as well as dependent on mesh size being deployed, the ability of the average recreational angler to identify those lines is questionable. The majority of voters in any electorate have no knowledge or interest in closure lines or fishing for that matter.

Consider this, a movement of the closure line in Anson Bay a few Kilometers East (identified as an under utilised resource area by fisheries) would not be the catalyst for a major voting swing at the next election, the same can be said about every river and electorate in the NT.

Unfortunately NT anglers have fallen into the trap set years ago by the Government by funding the recreational representative group.
The same group that achieved the closures and buybacks when they were not financially dependent or politically biased. We were not on the pay role.

Government has even invented a 'Minister of Recreational Fishing' a portfolio that has no budget, staff or influence in the administration of the Department of Fisheries, if that's not a photo opportunity, what is.

The representative group is little more than a photo opportunity and ‘good news’ outlet for government. It ceased to be a lobby group with generous funding from Government. Compare it to a Trade Union being funded by the Companies that the members worked for.

Politicians and bureaucrats are well informed about voters, they know exactly how many voters there are in each electorate. They know the demography of each electorate i.e. age, sex, ethnic background. The employment levels, health status and financial position in the community. There’s not much they don’t know about us.
We would be delusional if we thought that any politician in any electorate would base their political agenda or success on a sub culture like fishing.
We have become a victim of our own publicity by thinking we have political influence.

Sure a politician wants everyone to vote for them, and any good news story and photo opportunity adds to the overall picture they need to paint. But they know what is really influential with voters. We see it in every election, money, jobs, health, education, security.
I ask, when given the choice of voting, would fishing be a priority against any of the above with the majority of voters?

I prefer to not be politically ranting. I would rather be talking about fish and the world they live in, far more interesting. However the situation that is real and happening appears to be going unnoticed and even worse, unchallenged.

As a bloke said to me, THEY won’t let it happen, I asked who the fark are THEY and how busy are they?

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by theodosius » Mon Mar 21, 2022 5:30 pm

Well said

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by bigwoody » Wed Mar 23, 2022 2:33 pm

A perfect example of what WW has written about photo opportunities happened last night on the ABC News.
A announcement by government that Manton dam will stay open to fishos in the new water management plan they will announce soon.
Enter a smiling representative of the recreational fishos standing in front of a rack of lures bleating what a great thing this is. :jester:
Manton dam is at best a C grade fishing location that relies on a generally unsuccessful stocking of barra with a miniscule number of people who fish there.
The dam was and always will be the home of skiers and wakeboarders, they have no other place to do their thing safely.
But the spin doctors think people will see that government is looking after our fishing life style while in the background the deals with cotton farmers will suck the life out of genuine fishing locations. :banghead:
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by scottmac » Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:46 pm

Wonder Wobler and Big Woodie.
Great posts, agree with both.
Thought the same thing when I saw that last night.
Manton dam, who gives a frig!
*sigh*

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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by ronje » Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:03 am

[
i]We were not on the pay role.[/i]
The representative body was (and still is) indeed on the government payroll. A very generous payroll which covers salaries, minor grants etc but also a little extra. That "little extra" has turned into a $400,000 (approx) piggy bank which remains untouched. To what end?

The payroll was/is nothing more than an attempt to have the representative body convince members that the govt is doing a good job in managing fisheries including the interests of recreational fishing.

The representative body can't vote but the members can and are basically in a minority in the community. Being a minority, fishers can only make a difference in electorates with small margins.

Instead of working in the interests of members and focusing on advising member voters in these marginal electorates, the representative body has been busy working on not jeopardising its own funding arrangements.

Therein lies the story of dancing to the piper's tune.

Until that philosophical nexus is broken, not a lot will change in NT. The representative body will continue to be expected to rubberstamp the Govt's fisheries management decisions or not get paid.
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Ronje

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