|Fisherman at Barwon Heads|
On a recent paddle up from Baum's Weir we met a guy paddling a fully-equipped Hobie Cat upriver to spend the day fishing for redfin (aka English perch) in the quiet section of river above Merrawarp Road. He claimed to have caught over fifty of the fish in the river over the past two weeks, which is good news for the Barwon as they are an introduced species which impacts native fish populations. Fortunately, they also make good eating (the reason they were introduced by settlers in the 1860s). Whilst they have been declared a noxious species in New South Wales, this is not as far as I can tell, yet the case in Victoria, however anglers are strongly encouraged not to return redfin to the water once caught.
Other problem exotic species I have come across in the Barwon are mosquito fish and of course carp, all of which I mentioned in an earlier post. It has been noted that since the introduced carp population took hold in the 1960s, that stocks of redfin have reduced, however the carp themselves cause serious damage to native fish populations and our waterways.
|Carp in the Barwon at Breakwater|
|Short-finned eel taken from the Moorabool|
Short-finned eels were also an important source of food for the local Wathaurong tribes who used the rocky parts of the riverbed - such as the anabranch at Fyansford - to create traps to catch the eels as they swam downstream.