Fingerling release a dam good move for anglers
THEY may be small in size, but there's big things expected for the latest fingerlings released into the Mt Morgan Dam.
The local waterway has recently become home to thousands of new fish as part of a community project to boost the recreational experience of the area.
On Saturday, April 5, 7000 golden perch (yellow belly) fingerlings, as well as a few hundred silver perch fingerlings, were released into the Mt Morgan Dam.
The young fish were introduced as part of an annual restocking project by Mt Morgan Promotion and Development Incorporated.
The weekend's release saw members of the local organisation, as well as staff of Hanwood Fish Hatchery and members of the community, happily grab a bucket and introduce the fingerlings to the local waters.
With ample food, shelter and water, the Mt Morgan Dam is set to provide a perfect habitat for the new inhabitants.
The fingerlings were released in sections around the dam's perimeter, placed in sheltered shallows for further protection from predators and strong currents.
The newly introduced fingerlings were lovingly reared by the Cluff family from Hanwood Fish Hatchery at Murgon.
"These fingerlings are about two grams each in weight," Max Cluff said. "That's about 14kg of yellow belly released today."
The fingerlings are set to lure future fishermen when they reach the legal catching size, which Hanwood estimates to be in about 18 months' time.
Those eager to try their luck with a line earlier, however, may hook a sizeable catch from one of the dam's previous restocking efforts.
MMPAD project officer Camille Steinberger said the weekend's release was the fourth year of restocking for the community organisation.
"The restocking is part of an ongoing plan for the Mt Morgan Dam which sees native fish introduced each year," Miss Steinberger said.
"We're lucky to have such an impressive recreational spot and this kind of project helps to even further enhance the enjoyment of the area."
Miss Steinberger said the previous three years' restocks have included more than 15,000 golden perch as well as a number of eel-tailed tailed catfish and silver perch.
She said next year's release was set to include more golden perch as well as sleepy cod and a small number of saratoga.
For those planning a future fishing trip at the Mt Morgan Dam, Miss Steinberger said the community organisation was keen to hear from those who land a catch.
"We'd really like to hear from those who are willing to share details of their catch," she said.
"This assists our group in monitoring our past restocks and overall the success of our project this far."