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Carp Angling under threat from authorities
by Julius Klokow
09 April 2014
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Good day to everyone

It came to my attention that a meeting was held with Committees of Conventional Angling Clubs in the Free State Province where Nature Conservation was present. During the meeting a representative from Nature Conservation requested that all carp (big and small) and other invasive species be removed if caught during competitions. They requested assistance from anglers in removing invasive species from all dams due to the threat the posed to indigenous species like the yellow fish, etc. Indigenous species may also be regarded as invasive when it is located in a dam or river system where it is not supposed to be. The ideal is to remove large fish capable of breeding therefore limiting the breeding process.

The clubs represented declined to some extend to assist in removing carp as it is the only species many times caught that count points during competitions as yellow fish may not be caught anymore and therefore does not count. Competitive anglers also wish to practice catch and release and do not want to leave dead fish behind on the bank and also do not have space to transport dead fish with them in their vehicles. Disposal of dead fish is also a problem.

I wish to respond to this issue on behalf of SACS as follows:

1. SACS does not have a problem that small Carp are removed from lakes in an effort to manage fish stock but we request that healthy Carp (linear, leather, mirror, common and grass) above 8kg be released back during the process.

2. SACS supports the total eradication of the Chinese Silver Carp. In my opinion there is wrongly referred to the Grass Carp as the Chinese Carp (also known as the Silver Carp) and the Grass Carp is wrongfully accused of the negative impact of the Silver Carp to breed very quickly and totally occupy a lake or river system like in the USA.

3. Although Grass Carp can grow really fast and big as observed in the Vaal River system it is not regarded by SACS as a real threat as it keeps the growing of grass under control in dams and river systems as they predominantly feed on grass. There is a problem that smaller grass carp may eat most grass in a lake resulting that a shortage of food is created. In turn it will start to turn over the bottom in search of roots of plants to feed on. This can result in a clear water lake turning murky and erosion of the lake bed occurring. Larger grass carp does not feed as much as smaller grass carp and the removal of small grass carp out of a system is highly recommended.

4. We do not regard Carp (linear, leather, mirror and common) as an invasive species as it has been in the country for more than 200 years already and there is no evidence that these carp had an effect on yellow fish stocks where it is located. Carp will even eat their own eggs produced and yellow fish will also eat carp eggs in the same system. The breeding ground for yellow fish also differs from that of carp. SACS also has a yellow fish sanctuary of its own as one of our healthy venues hosts a lot of yellow fish living in harmony with carp and other species for many years already.

5. Conventional anglers are now a day even frustrated by small yellow fish taking bait at smaller and large dams in the main river systems like Vaal Dam, Bloemhof, Dam, Erfenis Dam, Allemanskraal Dam, Krugersdrift Dam, Rustfontein Dam and others where yellow fish are more frequently caught and does not count during competitions.

6. Permits have to be issued according to Provincial Legislation to sell fish but it is ignored by Nature Conservation where invasive species are involved and a blind eye is turned. (This was communicated to me personally by a representative of Nature Conservation.) I know of at least 3 people in the Bloemfontein Area alone who do sell carp (big and small) without any permits and this is all they do to earn a living. Family members, parents and children are involved.

7. Fish are many times removed from lakes and rivers where sewage spillages occurred and sold to people in the community. Due to the lack of Nature Conservation to manage the selling of invasive species through permits it may pose an extreme health hazard to people eating these fish. We are well aware of e-coli found even in the Vaal River system due to smaller rivers feeding the Vaal River with infected water after sewage spillages.

8. Homeless people in Bloemfontein are allowed with a blind eye from relevant authorities to catch fish from the Loch Logan Waterfront Lake which is infected with e-coli. This week again sewage water was running from the northern suburbs of the city into the lake. Efforts to relocate Carp from the lake to a safer location (thus also creating more space for indigenous species at the same time) are met with resistance from local authorities as all carp in the lake must be killed rather than be relocated.

9. SACS would rather like to form part of efforts to find a solution to problems related to Carp Angling as we feel that we can assist in making a difference and assist in reaching an agreement between relevant authorities and carp anglers. We are attending meetings with North West Nature Conservation, we are involved with Rietvlei Dam, the Metsi-a-Me project at Hartebeespoort Dam and have attended to many challenges in the past not communicated to the general public. SACS representatives are capable of making informed recommendations at such meetings.

10. Although representatives from SACS are available to attend such meetings on behalf of Carp Anglers in general, we still need the support of Carp Anglers in totals by growing the membership of SACS. The more members SACS has the more influence we have to speak for Carp Anglers in general to protect and expand our passion.

You are welcome to contact me with proposals and comments you wish to share with SACS related to the above and reporting such problems happening in your area. Please contact me at members@sacarpsociety.co.za

Thank your for your ongoing support.

Kind regards.



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