Draining the swamp

Pond number three is getting ready for fish , this pond is the one I use for most of my yabbies  I have never had fish in it so now is its chance.

The black muck you can see in the net is ash from the fire  combined with dam sealer .

The blue drum has the aerator sitting on top of it so it doesn’t pick up the rubbish on the bottom of the pond.

Pond 1 action

This is a video I just shot at 11.20 am , the day is overcast and there is no wind , however these fish are more than happy to feed when there is food, some of the rivers and streams don’t have a great deal of in water food ie yabbies , I think these fish have become accustomed to feeding on insect and the odd worm that would wash in after rain, I have seen them stir up the bottom with their tales and then check in the cloud of detritus for something to eat.


[wpvideo 8YQKvffT]


Daytime blackfish

this is some footage I took yesterday , the tank these four blackfish are in is a cement farm tank that hold about 4  thousand litres of water , you can see these fish are actively hunter for food and no real aggression, that could change around mating time.

[wpvideo V3ScefPS]

These fish are waiting to be fin clipped and their DNA tested to see if they are compatable with the fish in the Gellibrand system, if the test comes back good then we may be able to place them into a tributary of that system.

fishy e-mail

This is a copy of a letter that my local MP Dan Tehan sent to Sussan Ley and her reply.

I post this for comments .


17 T F
The Hon Dan Tehan MP Minister for Education Member for Wannon
Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600
23 MAR 2020
2 4 MAR 2020
Office of the Viinisteri
For Education
Dear Minister
Thank you for your representation of 23 January 2020 on behalf of your constituent Mr Stephen Mueller, concerning River Blackfish impacted by the recent bushfires in Victoria and New South Wales. The Australian Government shares your deep concern about the impacts of recent bushfires on native freshwater fish species. I apologise for the delay in responding.
In response to the devastating bushfires of the 2019/20 season, the Government has made an initial investment of $50 million to support the immediate work to protect wildlife, and work with scientists, ecologists, communities and land managers to plan the longer-term protection and restoration effort. I have also asked the Threatened Species Commissioner, Dr Sally Box, to convene an Expert Panel to assist in identifying priority recovery actions and developing a long-term wildlife protection and habitat restoration plan.
On 11 February 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment released a provisional list of 113 animal species identified by experts as the highest priorities for urgent management intervention over the coming weeks and months. The animal species included are initial priorities – many others will also need management intervention to support recovery. The list includes 17 fish species, one of which is the River Blackfish (south western Victoria) (Gadopsis sp. nov. “Western Victoria). Two priority actions have been identified for all high priority species:
1. Rapid on-ground surveys to establish extent of population loss and provide a baseline for
ongoing monitoring.
2. Protecting unburnt areas within or adjacent to recently burnt ground that provide refuge, as well
as unburnt areas that are not adjacent to burnt areas, especially from extensive, intense fire.
Given that the work of the Expert Panel is still ongoing, there will be further announcements over the coming weeks and months regarding the emergency on-ground actions to be supported by the Australian Government. I refer you to the Department’s website for bushfire recovery at www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery for news of these announcements.
Thank you for bringing Mr Mueller’s concerns to my attention. Yours sincerely
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Telephone (02) 6277 7920


Some of you will know that I have had trouble keeping water in my dams so I decided to put a liner in the front one , I got the liner from Geoff Miller and I have to say so far they have been great to deal with, when I mentioned about the ground being a little rocky they suggested i cover the floor of the dam with used carpet, this was a little weird given i spent most of my working life laying carpets and vinyls and now when I need them I had none , so i returned to my former employers at Carpet Choice in Warrnambool and over about six weeks I found enough carpet scraps to complete the mission.

I would like to thank all of the workers at Carpet Choice for there patients over this time and a special thank you to Rowan who works in the cutting room of the shop.

So i flew the drone over it to show you, so here it is .

[wpvideo jf4SphWf]

The blue drum on the bank is an aerator that will go back in after the liner is settle in the large rock with the concrete slab around it is a future BBQ areas , the rocks on the bank will hold the liner down .

when i take the drone up high you can see ponds 4,3,2 from left to right pond 4 has the fish that were first  going to Lake Mumblin them I was going to sell them now I am waiting on a geneticist to see if they can be returned to the Gellibrand where their parents came from.

the middle pond no 3 has no fish its where I get my yabbies for feeding the fish.

the last pond on the right no 2 pond has seven fish from the Gellibrand system that I am hoping to breed from so there young  can also go back to the Gellibrand to help that fishery that is in so much trouble .

Of course along the way I have learnt so much about the behaviour of these fish and now i am embarking on a trial to see if we can breed them in tanks , this is the forerunner to a hatchery.



Heads up everyone the rules around the catching the river blackfish are about to change from the second of February the daily bag limit will reduce from 5 fish to 2 fish and increasing the minimum size limit from 23 cm to 30 cm . this is a great win for the fish.

Thanks to Taylor Hunt for the information and his determination to get it approved.