Daly River 2022

And jacks, salmon, jewfish - tell us how you went. NT, FNQ and Norwest.
wonderwobler
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Daly River 2022

Post by wonderwobler »

Forecasting, predicting, and speculating, the same things based on uncertain and variable information and sometimes just gut feeling. Get it right and no one cares or pats you on the back for a job well done, get it wrong and you would be thankful that public executions are a thing of the past. I don’t do social media (except for this) so I can only guess that the BOM cop a bit of flak from the phone wielding mob.

Anglers and others who watch the weather closely build a mental data base that connects to their gut. It’s not a fool proof system, we have all f*#cked up and got a wet arse and no fish more than once.

The La Nina that was forecast seems to be spending most of its time on the east coast and over the desert. We are getting rain but its patchy and not particularly heavy, the pattern of the past several years of decent rain falling on the coast but not inland are so far continuing. The coastal area and the Katherine area of the Daly have received a bit of rain but the middle bit is missing out.

My fishing efforts so far have been infrequent, the river has been up and down, and the first decent rise was a few days after Boxing Day that did not last long due to the first couple of weeks of January being very dry. Then the Katherine area got a decent dose of rain that eventually made its way to the lower Daly. This water probably carried the spawned Cherabin eggs that happen in the fresh water down to the estuary that makes them hatch.

Some fish were on the bite after the first fall of the river. Rumor has it that a few of the creeks down stream of Alligator head produced fish. This recent rise of water from Katherine might be good for the Cherabin but hasn’t been so good for the fishing, dirty cool water pushing up into the creeks does not result in tannin color changes when the river falls, we need rain on the plains and plenty of it to make a run off we seek.

As far as gut feelings go, I’m not excited about the prospects so far. It’s a below average rain fall, the Monsoon has been weak. There are fish to catch for those who try; there will also be wet arses.
The commercial netting harvest starts tomorrow, perhaps they will catch a few.


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theodosius
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by theodosius »

Yeah hasn't been heaps of rain when you look at the totals, hope it picks up
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Re: Daly River 2022

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I’m seeking help from a tongue specialist, mine is not behaving well, not only is it positioning incorrectly causing me to fail achieving what was once basic tasks such as catching a fish, it is in danger of being bitten caused by attempting to talk sense to those who ignore the obvious.

An example, I traveled near on 160klm yesterday seeking Barra, even though I knew that the chances of finding a creek or drain that was discharging tannin water alive with bait fish and life that Barra eat was very slim I persevered.
During that search there were boats with anglers doing the same thing, positioned so as to cast at water that did not have feeding fish in it. The polite conversations were uniform, are you catching any? It’s pretty quiet, not many creeks with runoff water eh!

This is where my tongue biting episodes occur, I point out that its mid-February just in case they don’t know, and that the fact that just us being here on a river that should be somewhere around 8 meters deeper at this time of year is an indicator that catching fish will be difficult.
The reply usually contains statements like ‘the river was 8 meters over the crossing last week’ ‘the river is falling’ ‘it’s been a good wet season so far’ there is a failure to note that its blue sky and following a below average January rainfall, is so far, the driest February on record. I bite my tongue.

I did manage to catch 900mm of Barra, pity it took four fish to make that tally and from the few fish that I did see hooked all where small specimens. This year is shaping up to be another dud wet. That will be four out of the last five.
One of the weather modeling forecasts for the future has the monsoon retracting closer to the equator, resulting in lower rain fall for the Top End, it looks like its behaving that way now.

A disturbing thought is that the broad acre farming development (read cotton) is based on water resource data collected in the past when rainfall was greater. They argue that the weather naturally fluctuates, problem with that is we no longer live in “normal” times. Talking to these people is a certain path to a tongue biting episode.
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Matt Flynn
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn »

There's always hope, from BOM, the ENSO update Feb 15 ...

Some excerpts ...

"... The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) has strengthened over the eastern Indian Ocean in recent days. Most climate models suggest the MJO is likely to progress eastwards into the Maritime Continent in the coming week at moderate strength. Typically, when the MJO is in the Maritime Continent, enhanced cloudiness and rainfall occurs over northern Australia, and also across tropical regions to Australia's north.

"The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is neutral, and is forecast to remain neutral over the coming three weeks. A neutral SAM has little influence on Australian climate.

"The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains neutral. The IOD typically has little influence on global climate from December to April due to the influence of the monsoon.

"In recent decades there has been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia."
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by scottmac »

If you still lived up here, I don’t think you would be so optimistic Matt. It’s heartbreaking, year after year, after year….
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Matt Flynn
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn »

I am seeing change here too Scott. In the 10 years I have been here it seems to be getting drier, windier and warmer. Might be decadal variation or just my imagination. Annual rainfall is about the same but it mostly falls in spring these days, this change has been acknowledged by BOM.

Fingers crossed for a late wet season blast :mrgreen:
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Re: Daly River 2022

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"In recent decades there has been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia."

Yes that is my observation, short patchy rainfall that creates short term rises in the river and do not flood the plains long or high enough to allow the transfer of the fingerlings and grown Barra cycle or support the bio mass of creatures that end up being food for Barra.

As for ‘Fingers crossed for a late wet season blast’ the benefits of that will felt by the land environment and the broad acre (cotton) farmers.

Without doubt a late significant short term rise in the river has proven to flush the river out resulting in poor fishing. We would be better off without it and wait for the river to stabilise and clear up, at least trolling is an option then. Ouch! there goes my tongue.
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Matt Flynn
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn »

Without doubt a late significant short term rise in the river has proven to flush the river out resulting in poor fishing. We would be better off without it and wait for the river to stabilise and clear up, at least trolling is an option then.
The weather being what it is could still provide two months of rain. It probably won't, but I like to stay hopeful.
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn »

Tonight's radar - there is hope ...
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dorey76
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by dorey76 »

By all predictions the wet is far from over and hopefully the BOM is correct with another monsoon at the end of the week
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by Matt Flynn »

By all predictions the wet is far from over
Aye, could still be a goodun!
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by bigwoody »

Wetter March to May likely for large parts of Australia
Issued: 17 February 2022

March to May (autumn) rainfall is likely to be above median for central parts of WA, the southern NT, most of Queensland, northern and eastern NSW, far eastern Victoria and scattered areas of northern SA (chance of exceeding median is greater than 60%). Conversely, western Tasmania is likely to have below median rainfall (chance of exceeding the median is below 40%).

Much of southern Australia and north-western Australia have roughly equal chances of above or below median rainfall (chance of exceeding the median is close to 50%).
There is an increased chance of unusually high rainfall (in the top 20% of historical records) for March to May in much of eastern and central Queensland, eastern NSW, and scattered areas across central Australia (1.5 to 2.5 times the usual chance).

In any given outlook period, the chance of unusually high or low rainfall is around 20%. This means that a 40% chance of unusually wet conditions is twice the normal likelihood, while 60% is three times.

The week of 21 to 27 February is likely to have above median rainfall for southern WA, while below median rainfall is likely for northern WA, the northern and eastern NT, north-east SA, Queensland, and northern NSW.
Past accuracy for March to May rainfall is moderate to high for most of Australia, shifting to low accuracy for parts of central and southern WA.

The large parts of Australia don't seem to be in the Top End, and I can't find any mention of a monsoon event being forecast.
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by maxpower »

:eating:
wonderwobler
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by wonderwobler »

Like most creatures I have a cycle of existence, and the environment around me plays a significant role in what I do and when I do it. I live totally off grid. The essentials of shelter, water, power and waste management are my responsibilities.
Water for example, specifically drinking water is collected in tanks once a year during monsoon events, I have over engineered the capacity to ensure there is at least two years supply of drinking water. Just in case.

In the past I always opened the tanks to the roof catchment during the second monsoon event, like clockwork in February. I used the first event of the season in December/ January to clean the roof and gutters so as to collect cleaner water.
For whatever reason, my gut instinct told me to open the tanks in January. This is not the first time in recent years. The cycle of existence I have become familiar with and reliant on changed. Fortunately as a human I could adapt to that change.

All the other living things however find it much harder to adapt to a changed cycle of the environment that they rely on. The river is a living thing. It supports an unknown number of life forms that have evolved under the influence of its cycles. Barra being the one of most interest to those who read this.
The wild Barra life cycle is under constant study and there is always something new to be considered. However the basics remain consistent, they spawn at a particular time in particular places. The fingerlings migrate seeking food and the adult fish eat the fingerlings.

All this is reliant on the rivers cycle, the evolution of those fish has occurred over countless time, they do not adapt to a sudden change in the cycle. They don’t have a plan B to use.
If the monsoon fails and the river and the flood plains do not fill with water at a time that coincides with the spawning and migration of these fish then that cycle is broken.

At the moment the river is the lowest I have ever seen it for this time of year, it is clearing up and looks like it should be May. We have just had one of the driest Februarys on record following a below average January rain fall. No amount of rain now will reboot the cycle of river life this year.

Meanwhile the commercial netting harvest continues unrestricted regardless of the knowledge of NT Fisheries that the Barra recruitment level over the past few years is diminishing.

Couple that with big agriculture in the river catchment clearing vast areas of land and planning for using an amount of water that has so many zero’s in the number that they use the word Gigerliters as it doesn’t sound as confronting as a million liters.
These things surely must have an effect on the cycle of river life.

And as for the fishing? Try it and post your experience on this site.
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Re: Daly River 2022

Post by theodosius »

Cheers for the observations, I'm starting to get pretty pessimistic about this year's runoff!
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