By Adam Kerezsy
"I spend an inordinate period of time grubbing round muddy waterholes and rivers, pondering the why and the way of fish that dwell in particular parts ... Fish and deserts are strange bedfellows, yet that is the means it is." In wilderness Fishing classes, Kerezsy takes us on a rollicking trip via our arid-zone waterways and introduces us to the tough-as-nails critters that dwell in them; he exhibits us that we have got much to benefit from our fit wilderness rivers, provides a compelling case to maintain them, and, utilizing them as his advisor, he outlines ways that we will hinder extra degradation of the Murray-Darling. Read more...
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Extra info for Desert fishing lessons : adventures in Australia’s rivers
We had learned that using expensive aluminium-shafted target arrows on big carp was a dumb idea: if you hit them in the head the arrows would bounce off or break; if you hit them in the body the arrows would usually pass straight through; and if you were lucky enough to have the arrow hold, it would be bent beyond recognition once retrieved. Instead, we cut dowel down to the right length, Araldited a cut-off used centrefire rifle shell to one end and a nock in the other. No fletching, no line. Nothing fancy.
5 Studies such as this provide good indicative data, but we should still resist the temptation to pin all the Murray– Darling’s woes on the Boolarans. We need to remember that at the same time carp became part of Australia’s fauna, there were a host of other changes occurring in the Murray–Darling Basin 31 down by the riverside that might also have contributed to the declines in native species and aquatic vegetation, and an increase in turbidity. From as early as the mid 1800s, inland commercial fishing targeted the same species anglers noticed declining in number – the big noticeable ones like Murray cod, yellowbelly and catfish.
At different times of the year the air out on the Lake would smell like the damp soil being worked by farmers in the district, or occasionally in summer like a fire or an impending dust storm, but there was always plenty of time to think because there were no interruptions. Indeed, the idyllic setting was really only spoiled by one thing. Whenever the boat drifted close to shore there was 25 Carp (top) and a feral goldfish (bottom). Both species were introduced to Australia in the 1800s and are now widespread throughout the Murray–Darling Basin.