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Futurefish Foundation - Vic Barra proposal

Discussion in 'Industry News & Releases' started by Goodoo Dreaming, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Goodoo Dreaming

    Goodoo Dreaming New Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Amedia release for Futurefish Foundation

    Latest news in the possible
    Establishment of a barramundi fishery at
    Hazelwood Pondage in East Gippsland, VIC

    16 December, 2008

    Hi Everyone,
    It’s been some time since I last spoke to you about the work we are doing on
    establishing a Barramundi fishery in Hazelwood Pondage.
    Futurefish Foundation has had a busy few months with events and projects as well
    as a big fundraising drive to help fund this project. I am happy to say that we are now
    in a position where we have the funding to proceed with the next steps, that is to do
    the work which will determine whether it is feasible to establish a Barramundi fishery
    in Hazelwood Pondage.
    Activities so far…
    • July 2008, conducted research on similar fisheries in QLD for guidance in
    establishment of Hazelwood;
    • July 2008, preliminary meeting held with International Power and Latrobe City
    • August 2008, presentation made to key stakeholders in Morwell;
    • August 2008, in principle support given by stakeholders to advance project to next
    Recent activities…
    • Major fundraising activity provides more than $40,000;
    • Australian Fishing Trade Association donates $5,000 to project;
    • Letter sent to Dr Peter Appleford, Executive Director Fisheries Victoria regarding
    Futurefish’s intention to conduct this project;
    • Initial application submitted to Fisheries Victoria for Translocation Evaluation
    Panel (TEP) consideration;
    • Preliminary discussions held with suitably qualified person to conduct risk
    • Preliminary discussions held with Barramundi aquaculture farms in Geelong and
    Werribee regarding price and lead time for fish;
    Next steps…
    • Apply to Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) for co-funding
    research activities (Jan 2009);
    • Apply for Barramundi in Hazelwood to be included in 2009/2010 state stocking
    program (Jan 2009);
    • Await decision of TEP, more than likely recommending a full risk assessment be
    • Conduct briefing with key stakeholders on progress so far (Feb 2009);
    • Engage suitably qualified person to conduct a full risk assessment (Feb 2009);
    David Kramer
    FutureFish Foundation
  2. chrisso

    chrisso New Member

    May 6, 2008
    so steady if this all goes ahead, when will these barra be of good enough size for catching???
  3. Goodoo Dreaming

    Goodoo Dreaming New Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    Thats a good question. MC in healthy impoundmentscan grow to 60cm 5-7years. Barra on the other hand need a few other things other than a plentiful food source like warm weather, it is yet to be proven but the warm water from the power station is the only heat source they'll have so I think many are banking on this being enough to keep them happy and healthy.

    TBX User "Ronje" will be able to give some detail info on Barra growth rates.
  4. ronje1

    ronje1 New Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    Hello ian

    Good to see that at least the proposal is for native species.

    Different river systems have different strains of barra. Fitzroy river barra strain is different to gulf strain etc and no mixing of strains is carried out in Qld stocking programs.

    What strain is contemplated in this proposal?

    Barra fisheries have been set up in colder climes such as Ireland and England and also Florida USA. Don't know how they've progressed but I'd say the florida one has most chance of success. They might be worth contacting.

    Continual stocking would be required for freshwater pondage. Probably need a food source such as bony bream or similar to be established first. The smaller the fingerlings, the cheaper but the higher the mortality rate.

    In most of the dams in Qld, catfish were a problem but once the barra survivors get bigger, the roles are reversed. In Clermont, stocking with 50cm fish was done to reduce mortality rate and reduce growth time but was more expensive to purchase stock.

    Growth rates would provide 55-60cm fish in 3 years depending on fingerling size.

    Spawnings from Oct/Nov 07 are now being caught at about 40cm in lagoons here after natural restocking caused by flooding. The returns from tags show growth rates of up to 1 mm per day for 30cm fish but that slows a bit as fish get bigger.

    1 metre fish can be expected in 6-7 years.

  5. Vass

    Vass Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    This is the best news i have read about in a long, long time.
    If this goes ahead it will mean big dollars to the local economy.
    I hope this all goes to plan as i dont think this would end up being the only Barra lake in Vic.

  6. ronje1

    ronje1 New Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    Hazelwood pondage


    Had a look at some info on Hazelwood.

    Feature seems to be that its a cooling pond for recirculated water of nearby Hazelwood power station.

    It seems that the lake and downstream creek has existing occupants in the shape of various noxious fish species. Most seem to be tilapia or various cichlids. Supposed to be carp but didn't see much on fishing reports.

    Understand that lake sits around 22 degrees celcius ( or the part that was measured anyway). Don't know if that is all year round or not.

    If so, temperature might not be such a big issue. We get water temperatures down to 19 degrees in winter normally here. Fish kills seem to occur about 12-15 degrees. We had a cold winter here in 2006 when water temperatures got down to 12 degrees in some western dams. Lost lots of barra. I put up a thread about it at the time.

    Interesting that the water outlet pipe from the old Rocky power station into the Fitzroy was a magnet for barra here (power station closed now).

    however, a current power station in Gladstone has a hot water outlet into the nearby creek which is good barra attractor too.

    Be good to get the greenies on side by pushing the idea of a native fish cleaning up the noxious fish in the pondage. Good environmental brownie points to be had there for Govt to consider.

    Maybe a food source already exists.

    I see talk of the noxious fish being up to 20cm so there is obviously a breeding population established. Barra fingerlings of 15-20cm would be an ideal size.

    Barra will eat any fish that will fit in their mouths.

    Hazelwood is probably popular with skiers. Big barra might give them a touch-up or two ( with no teeth barra can't hurt but can give one a very nasty suck!).

    They'll soon sort out the tilapia and cichlids.
  7. fisherman347

    fisherman347 Active Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Hi guy's,wow now there's some interesting news,on a positive note one may not have to venture north to catch a "Barra",hope to here how this project progresses,regaurd's Murph.
  8. shauno

    shauno New Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Could you imagine in ten years, for about the same time it would take to drive to Yarra (from Melbourne) you could be chasing barra on our doorsteps. Already got me thinking!
  9. ronje1

    ronje1 New Member

    Nov 10, 2005
    Victorian barra.

    Only if the temp isn't an issue.

    Under normal circumstances I'd say it would not be a goer in Vic but if the temp IS 22 degrees all year round in that dam AND if its big enough to maintain it,, then you are in with a show. If the temp is low the barra will survive but go dormant. They'll also become susceptible to infections and that is what will take them out.

    Barra farming is carried out in South Australia. Have a look at their websites. i think they use fully recirculated systems there.

  10. Goodoo Dreaming

    Goodoo Dreaming New Member

    Apr 12, 2006
    The cooling ponds are quite warm at the power station and there will be a constant temp all year round but unsure how consitant the temp will be throughout the lake but I'd guess the folk at FFF and Vic DPI seem to think its a goer.

    Barra farming is done all the country now. We have an indoor farm in Werribee (s/w of outer Melbourne) and this is were some of the stock will come from.

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