Letters

Fish shortage

Ed,
I have been coming to Yamba for the last 40 years and have lived hear the last 12. I am a keen fisherman and like using a tinny to fish our vast Clarence River system.
Twenty five years ago driving into Yamba, you would see a giant flathead skeleton nailed to a pole at the Palmers Island Caravan Park. Stories of monster flathead being caught at the lake were told often and you could take the kids for a fish and always come home with enough for dinner.
How things have changed, today it is only the experts or the lucky ones who are able to bring home fish.
I find it much easier to catch fish in the Richmond River at Ballina than in the Clarence. The reason for this could be that the Richmond River is not netted by trawlers.
On a recent gyro copter flight I observed trawlers working the river at Maclean and on Lake Wooloweyah. At both locations a big mud trail was visible behind each trawler, you could imagine the amount of damage being done to the weed etc. at the bottom of the river. If you add the dead by-catch and the lack of prawns left for the fish to eat, this could be part of the reason for the poor fishing in the Clarence.
I would like to see Lake Wooloweyah closed to netting for a few years to give the prawns and the fish a chance.
I Faulkner, Yamba

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