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Hook, line and swimmers...

Date

Ian Warden

Gang-gang

Joshua Campbell and Ben Broadhurst with the 11kg Murray Cod caught at Yerrabi Pond at Gungahlin.

Joshua Campbell and Ben Broadhurst with the 11kg Murray Cod caught at Yerrabi Pond at Gungahlin. Photo: Supplied

Joshua Campbell was fishing at the weekend and tells us, with pictures to prove it, ''I caught this Murray Cod on Sunday afternoon at Yerrabi Pond [at Gungahlin]. It was 11kg (24 pounds) and was 80 cm long.''

What made this adventure a little out of the ordinary is that he had to go swimming in the pond's cod-infested waters to bring the behemoth to land because ''I was only using 6-8 pound line'' and the cod had got among the rocks.

In the pictures, his mate Ben Broadhurst is assisting.

This reminds us that when John Gale was singing the Canberra site's praises vis a vis Dalgety's in his great 1907 speech (later captured in a propaganda booklet The Federal Capital - Dalgety or Canberra Which?) the Murray Cod got a guernsey in his speech.

While carrying on about how superior the Canberra site was as a place for hunting and fishing (he boasted that here we had an abundance of wombats and lyre-birds to kill) he argued that while it was true the Snowy River contained a few trout our own local waters teemed with ''the princely Murray Cod''.

These days the cod in Canberra waters are all plonked in there by governments but it may be that once upon a time they were naturally abundant here.

In one of his histories, Gale (1831-1929) reports how in the 1850s the squire Terence Aubrey Murray had the bright idea of making the uselessly fish-bereft Lake George useful to fishers by stocking it with Murray Cod.

For this he used cod taken from the cod-infested Molonglo that ran through his property at Yarralumla.

 

8 comments

  • tag and release ? or did they follow the typical bogan persuit of removing a beautiful creature from its natural surroundings and starve it of oxygen to endure a long and painful death, as seen on numerous TV programs these days. In fact Ive got a great idea for a new TV show, get the bogan childeren in a net and hold them under water for 5 minutes and look to camera and say "strewth, look at this bewdy..."

    Commenter
    wala
    Date and time
    December 04, 2012, 9:22AM
    • Any fishermen born since 1950 knows the importance of releasing fish unharmed back into their environment, especially our native freshwater species that really aren't great for eating. Recreational fishing has little to no impact on the natural eco-system. We can only fish in fair weather, during certain seasons at certain locations due to restrictions imposed by the government. We pay good money for fishing licenses which contribute towards re-stocking of native species into local dams and streams. Your idea that a "typical Bogan pursuit" went out long ago, around the same time as intentionally drowning children..... I’m surprised that such violence would be condoned from a perceived "Nature Lover"

      Commenter
      Shogunmatty
      Location
      Reality
      Date and time
      December 04, 2012, 11:56AM
    • Murray cod have a protected or closed season when they can't be kept and must be released un-harmed which is in force now.
      At other times they can be kept but the local ones I've tasted haven't been great and are fatty & muddy tasting but the big ones fight well on light tackle...about a minutes fight for every pound of fish.
      I hear what others are saying about keeping fish out of water for what seems like excessive times before release and you don't need metal fish grips on freshwater fish and murray cod only have pads of sandpaper like little teeth and don't clamp down that hard on your thumb, they are pretty resilent and recover quickly when returned to the water if handled carefully.
      I've converted all my hooks to barb-less hooks on all my lures....makes releases on fish...& the ocassional human much more easy.

      Commenter
      dusty
      Location
      up the creek
      Date and time
      December 04, 2012, 8:08PM
  • Nice fish. Hope they put it back!

    Commenter
    Badger
    Location
    O'Connor
    Date and time
    December 04, 2012, 9:58AM
    • Mr shotgun user obvously doesnt watch TV. fish and people get killed every day.

      Commenter
      wala
      Date and time
      December 04, 2012, 2:13PM
  • Wala, the fish was released and swam off strongly I believe - don't worry. Urban lakes like Yerrabi have been intentionally stocked with native fish for anglers to enjoy. Don't begrudge people the chance to have a bit of fun and catch a fish or two. Catching a fish yourself to eat is a lot more sustainable and humane than buying one from the markets.

    Commenter
    BenC
    Date and time
    December 04, 2012, 4:42PM
    • Wow - "typical bogan pursuit""long and painful death" holding children under water??? There's quite a lot of asusmptions there.
      I look at the image and see two successful Canberrans enjoying their surroundings in the manner it was designed and in the broader spirit of Canberra the bush Capital.
      I take it as a story celbrating the population stock, the success that the stock can be managed to produce such a large fish, that the local residents are finding positive use of the natural resources in their area... the list goes on.
      What I take from Wala on the other hand, is the illutration of the short sighted, angry attitude of a someone insistent on preventing these positive experiences occurring lest the happiness of others impinge on the perpetuation of the miserable, dreary Canberra resident that we all struggle against.
      Thanks Wala.

      Commenter
      KDowgg
      Date and time
      December 04, 2012, 4:42PM
      • That's a beautiful fish. Too good to put back. I'd have taken it home to make sweet and sour.

        Commenter
        PerverTT
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        December 04, 2012, 5:48PM
        Comments are now closed
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