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Thread: Catfish in Clanwilliam dam

  1. #1
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    Default Catfish in Clanwilliam dam

    I was chatting to a bassing buddy of mine last week and we were talking about the demise of bass in general in the Cape. He had just returned from a few bassless days at Voelvlei and told me about a chat that he had with one of the other equally unsuccessful anglers there. This guy recently caught a catfish in Clanwilliam dam! I have no idea if this is old news yet, but it is the first report I have heard of catfish in the Olifants system. The implications of this are far reaching. It is just a matter of time before they enter the major tributaries, the Doring being one of them.

    Although this introduction will benefit the Clanwilliam yellows to a large degree, it is sad to see historically great bass fisheries like this falling prey to sharptoothed catfish at such an alarming rate.

    The question is, how are the catfish getting into all our waters? Wading birds are being blamed for transporting the eggs, which apparently adhere to their legs. If this is the case, then the bass in the Cape are doomed, because before long, every last bit of water in the Cape will have catfish in it.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  2. #2

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    If you listened to the guys at YWG Dean Impson and Pierre de Villiers Bass are doomed! YWG and CNC hate them, more than trout.

    But I don't think they will irradicate them with catfish. :-?)) Biological control hehehehe.

    I still find it hard to believe that eggs can travel on the birds...... ;-)

  3. #3
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    fact is, the numbers of bass have already dwindled to such an extent in Voelvlei and Teewaters dam that these waters have essentially lost their appeal to bassing enthusiasts. Apparently only 5 bass were caught at the annual bassmasters tournament at Voelvlei last year, compared to over 300 at the previous tournament.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  4. #4
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    Hi there guys

    Surely if the water birds transported the eggs, then they would have done so thousands of years ago and not waited until now?

    As far as I am aware, these fish are either stocked by artlure guys or they are delivered through inter-basin water transfers.

  5. #5
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    Hi MC

    I also find it hard to believe that birds can transfer the eggs, but there could be some merit to the theory. My mate Brian told me of a carp that he caught at Voelvlei which spewed its eggs in the bottom of his bass boat after he landed it. He told me that it was impossible to remove the eggs, because they were adhering so tightly to the fibres of the carpet. He eventually had to replace the piece of carpet.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  6. #6
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    Chris

    Carp deposit their eggs on reeds and other submerged vegetation where they stick and are fertilised by the males until they eventually hatch. Their eggs are designed to stick to those surfaces and it makes sense that they would stick to the carpeted surface of a boat.

    Barbel are indigenous to the northern provices and they have always been there along with the birds. Surely, if they could be introduced to new waters by way of birds, then this would have happened a very long time ago. Fish eggs also needs oxygen to survive and they absorb this oxygen through the outer membrane, which must remain wet for the transfer of oxygen to take place. Surely these birds don't hang around in the water for a number of days until the eggs have hatched?

    I am sorry, but this makes no sense to me. I will stick to the version that Barbel (and Carp to a lesser extent) were first introduced by way of inter-basin water transfers and thereafter by the artlure fishermen and/or other fishermen.

    MC

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCC View Post
    Chris

    Carp deposit their eggs on reeds and other submerged vegetation where they stick and are fertilised by the males until they eventually hatch. Their eggs are designed to stick to those surfaces and it makes sense that they would stick to the carpeted surface of a boat.

    Barbel are indigenous to the northern provices and they have always been there along with the birds. Surely, if they could be introduced to new waters by way of birds, then this would have happened a very long time ago. Fish eggs also needs oxygen to survive and they absorb this oxygen through the outer membrane, which must remain wet for the transfer of oxygen to take place. Surely these birds don't hang around in the water for a number of days until the eggs have hatched?

    I am sorry, but this makes no sense to me. I will stick to the version that Barbel (and Carp to a lesser extent) were first introduced by way of inter-basin water transfers and thereafter by the artlure fishermen and/or other fishermen.

    MC
    Yeah, I agree with you MC. Definitely makes more sense to me, and besides, I'd rather blame the artlure okes than a bunch of birds anyway. Makes me feel better
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Shelton View Post
    Yeah, I agree with you MC. Definitely makes more sense to me, and besides, I'd rather blame the artlure okes than a bunch of birds anyway. Makes me feel better
    Definately. Birds know what they're doing.

  9. #9
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    Hi Guys,

    I’ve heard this theory about sharp tooth catfish destroying bass dams and I find it hard to believe that it’s the cat fish. My reason for this is that Zimbabwe has amazing bass fishing and has had for years. All the dams in Zim have plenty of cat fish (indigenous) and huge ones in every little river and dam. So why would the introduction of cat fish (as bad as it is) be the cause for the decline in bass? Isn’t it the carp? Most Zim dams don’t have carp and aren’t muddied by them. Voelvlei has got worse over the years and the water is nearly always muddy and there are carp everywhere, Teewaters used to be a lot clearer as far as I remember, and has become muddier since the carp population grew. Don’t the carp vacuum up bass eggs from their nests? In fact, I know one bass dam in Bulawayo that used to be brilliant, Carp where introduced and the bass fishing became pretty bad and the water constantly dirty. So what thoughts on this?

    In terms of the cat fish being introduced, I’ve known them to travel some way over land when it rains, but that’s a long shot I suppose.

    Cheers

    Platon

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Shelton View Post
    I was chatting to a bassing buddy of mine last week and we were talking about the demise of bass in general in the Cape. He had just returned from a few bassless days at Voelvlei and told me about a chat that he had with one of the other equally unsuccessful anglers there. This guy recently caught a catfish in Clanwilliam dam! I have no idea if this is old news yet, but it is the first report I have heard of catfish in the Olifants system. The implications of this are far reaching. It is just a matter of time before they enter the major tributaries, the Doring being one of them.

    Although this introduction will benefit the Clanwilliam yellows to a large degree, it is sad to see historically great bass fisheries like this falling prey to sharptoothed catfish at such an alarming rate.

    The question is, how are the catfish getting into all our waters? Wading birds are being blamed for transporting the eggs, which apparently adhere to their legs. If this is the case, then the bass in the Cape are doomed, because before long, every last bit of water in the Cape will have catfish in it.
    If its true about barbel in clanwilliam dam. That is very sad, no matter how they got there. But it is definitely as a result of humans. Maybe via some people introducing them. I heard that barbel were introduced by papgooiers into theewaterskloof dam. I have no substantive proof of any of these facts but it wouldn't surprise me at all.
    "We all fish for our own enjoyment - me for mine and you for yours, nobody can say what is right and what is wrong." - Jim Leisenring

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