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ACT - Cotter Dam Expansion. FYI.

Discussion in 'Regional Areas' started by RoryBenn-Clibborn, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. RoryBenn-Clibborn

    RoryBenn-Clibborn New Member

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Fellow Canberrans and the likes,

    I've been doing some reading up on the latest developments into the plans to expand the Cotter dam 20 fold and its effects on the Native species that inhabit the waterway: such as Macquarie Perch, Two Spined Blackfish, Trout Cod and Murray River Crayfish.

    Although im 100% with the conservation of the native fish species it would be interesting to know what effects the expansion would have on the fish populations and even the recreational value of the area itself.

    The UC have been conducting some very interesting surveys looking into mainly the Macquarie Perch populations and have been having some good succes into learning a little more about these elusive little critters.

    They have also been experimenting with some man made environments such as: The addition of man made rock reefs and other structures to create suitable cover and feeding environments for the species. The reason this has been undertaken is that the expansion of the lake could potentially drown out the surrounding reed and weedbeds that provide the perch cover from the potentially hazardous cormorants and other low flying dangers. There are also talks of installing some underwater cameras to monitor fish habits and also the potential threat from the large population of Brown and Rainbow trout.

    This is great news and should help us further understand the strange ways of the once abundant Macca!

    I also read in a report that the expansion of the dam if the implementation of sufficient man made structures is a success could be a positive in the growth of an already relatively healthy population of perch. Also great news when it comes to the last known Migrating and self sustaining population of macquarie perch inside the ACT (Cotter River). Since the installation of the Vanity's crossing fishway there has been a consistant number of migrating perch breeding above the weir itself which is great news.

    I believe that 25 Perch within the Dam have been tagged with radio tracking devices to examine the movement between certain areas of the dam and i look forward to reading some more info on that matter.

    Another intersting fact about the cotter expansion is that if all goes to plan the storage capacity will be increased by 20 times its maximum capacity at the moment, making it the largest storage facility out of the existing cotter river storages.

    This is all public information but i thought i might get a little topic started regarding the proposal.

    I'm 100% behind the research towards the protection of the native fish and if the studies come to a conclusion that the new works will have minimal effects on the populations, it would be interesting to watch the project grow and eventually be completed.

    What are your thoughts on the expansion of the dam?

    I am aware that some of the surrounding farm land and national park will be flooded, Causing more havoc to land dwelling animals and farm owners.

    This is also another area worth considering.

    Very interesting stuff when it comes to our water supply. Do we, or don't we? With so many things to consider, i really feel for the governing agency that has to make the decision in the end.

    Cheers,
    Rory.
     
  2. Mark5fish

    Mark5fish New Member

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    Feb 6, 2009
    Hey Rory i think it is a very heated topic have talked to a few people who think it is a positive step but other that don't. A mates brother is one of the ones who is studying the fish out there and had a few talks with him. From what he has said it seems like they are spending a lot of money to make sure that the natives are very well looked after so knowing that is going ahead that is a least a positive. If you didn't know there was a large group of Maquire perch under the dam wall just after the overflow we informed the right people of them and from what i here that spent a large amount of money to move them befor the water is stopped. Send me a PM and i will let you know where they put them. They could not be put back into the lake due to the red fin diease that has not hit the lake yet. Will be good to see what id going to happen over trhe next year or so so pls keep us informed if you here and more details. Thnaks again great post.
     
  3. wharf

    wharf New Member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    I used to do a lot of 4wding around cotter dam.The govt has closed the area off and ripped up a lot of the tracks and some even have trees planted on them.I doubt the restrictions on this dam will ever be lifted for fishing.The macquarie perch will seal that deal.I hope im wrong,only time will tell.
     
  4. wharf

    wharf New Member

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    Jan 8, 2009
    Not so long ago we were allowed to fish that bottom pool below the cotter dam.It was one of my favourite trout spots for over 20 years.They closed it after a tourist drowned in that pool.I dont know the full story but what i heard was we had a lot of rain and the dam was letting water out of the big tube on the stairs side.Plus the water was coming over the wall at the sides and roaring down into the bottom pool.The fella jumped in and got swept under water in the wirlpool the big tube makes.Stuck on the rocks under water.What goes through some peoples minds amazes me.

    My most memorable fish was a 4 pound brown.I was using worms for bait relaxing and the big fella grabbed my bait.He didnt fight real hard,it was close to summer.After 5 or 6 minutes i had him on the bank at my feet.As soon as i gave him the slack to pick him up out came the hook and the bastard started flapping into the half a foot of water at the edge.I jumped in and like a mad man started splashing him back.What felt like a minute was really 10 seconds and i had him firmly in my hands.My mate said lucky bugger and then i heard a few cheers and clapping coming from the dam wall walkway.A group of tourists had gathered and one was filming the whole thing.I would have felt a lot different had i lost the fish hahahahah.
     
  5. RoryBenn-Clibborn

    RoryBenn-Clibborn New Member

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Hey mark,

    Yes it is a touchy subject with some people. It could make for an interesting discussion. I am just generally interested in peoples opinions on the matter, not looking to start any arguments.

    I was aware there was a small population of maccas in the section below the wall, have seen them schooled up there on a few occasions. It worries me that they were/are so easily accessable to the general public.

    Will never be opened to the public for recreational purposes (geez that would be nice), it would become lake burley griffin in just a few weeks, people just don't care about anything other than themselves these days. There was talks of building a lookout to view the massive new structure and a few more attractions to be built in the section below the wall but im not 100% sure of these details.

    I think that section of the river below the wall was also closed due to the 2003 bushfires destroying the foliage and causing the steep side banks to become unstable.

    Haha nice one wharf!

    Ive seen photo's from the national archives of people casting into raging torents in that pool and pulling out lovely fat Rainbows! Must have been great to have a fantastic trout fishery so close to home. Makes me wonder whether there is still any trout left hiding in there at all.
     

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