Lifestyle73,000 barra fingerlings released at Lake Monduran

73,000 barra fingerlings released at Lake Monduran

Lake Monduran barra
Kevin Charteris was part of the team releasing 73,000 barra fingerlings into Lake Monduran.

More than 73,000 barramundi fingerlings were released into Lake Monduran at the weekend to restock the popular fishing area near Gin Gin.

Julie Whalley from the Monduran Anglers and Stocking Association said the event happened once a year to help replenish the lake with new fish.

“It is definitely a huge job,” she said.

“The money used to obtain the fingerlings is fundraised through various events as well as coming from the SIPS fishing permits for stocked impoundment species.

“This year, many thanks must also go to the group called Lake Monduran Sponsor a Barra who were instrumental in providing $6000 towards our cause.”

Julie said restocking the lake every year was vital in keeping tourism and the ecosystem alive.

She said barramundi fingerlings were imported and released into Lake Monduran because they were unable to breed in the area.

Lake Monduran barra
The barra are transported from the truck to oxygenated eskies aboard boats before they are released into the lake.

“Barramundi are born male and without the introduction to salt water, they will stay male for their whole lives,” she said.

“That's why we have to continually restock at Lake Monduran, because there is no saltwater access which means no breeding can occur.”

According to the Department of Primary Industries, barramundi are protandrous hermaphrodites, meaning they change sex from male to female.

They become sexually mature as males at about three to four years of age.

Males turn into females from about five or six years of age, and about 80cm in length, but require saltwater for this sex change.

Julie said restocking the dam was a huge task and required several groups of people and boats to get the job done.

“One by one we have boats lined up along the banks of the lake while a huge truck carrying oxygenated tanks come down the boat ramp,” she said.

“Then, we transfer the fingerlings into special oxygenated eskie on the boats before heading off to let them go in different parts of the lake.

“We tend to drop them off at points with lots of weed and lily pads so they have a good source of food.”

Julie said she loved being part of the Monduran Anglers and Stocking Association and all of the fishing opportunities that came with it.

She said Lake Monduran still held the record for the largest barramundi ever caught.

In 2010, Denis Harrold reeled in a a monster 135cm fish which weighed in at 44.6kg.

“The most amazing part – Denis was on his kayak at 8pm in the rain when he caught the monster barra.”

Lake Monduran barra
The truck coming down the boat ramp to transfer the fingerlings into boats.

It's moments like this Julie said was what made Lake Monduran so special.

“No one has managed to reel in anything like it since,” she said.

“Barramundi are very hard to catch and in such a big lake, it's a real win when you do manage to pull one in.

“Lake Monduran is a great place to fish, it's definitely a challenge which is what makes it so good.”