Carp in distress
On Tuesday morning the 14-10-2010 , a concerned friend Lionell Cloete received information that carp from civic lake started moving into a smaller piece of water, due to the lack of oxygen in the water. He immediately posted the distress call onto both the Sealine and Outdoorpages forums. I saw the thread and immediately phoned Lionell for more information. He supplied me with the number for Hannes, a member of the Sealine forum, who I then contacted to get some more information. Hannes told me that the fish were dying and have become easy targets for the general public, who started stabbing at the fish with pitch forks and some were even jigging for them.
I then decided that we cannot just let this carry on, and that we needed to do something about the fish being killed. Hannes then phoned around to get hold of some more people, he gave me some more numbers to get everything organized. I phoned Harties fisheries and got them ready for the rescue operation the next morning. I then started getting permission for the rescue and move of the carp. Mr Kaan from Lakeview hospital was contacted by me on behalf of SACS and gave us the necessary access and permission to continue with the operation. A few people from Sealine, Outdoorpages and SACS then got on board for the next mornings rescue operation.
Myself Francois and Charl Kruger, arrived at Lakeview hospital around 07:00am, where we found hundreds of carp stuck in a very small pond, struggling to breath. Some more guys from Sealine then also arrived, Johan, Hannes, Marius, Nash and Wessel. We quickly planned a strategy with the guys from harties fisheries to get as much of the fish netted. A very safe net was used, made from a very fine knotless mesh material. In total we were 14 people involved with the netting and moving of the carp. After just 3 pulls of the net the first tank was full, and a trip back to harties fisheries was needed, We stopped off at one of the clean lakes in Benoni, and released the fish between 7 10kg, and also all of the mirror carps that were netted, to keep a good strain of fish in the local waters. Some very nice fully scaled mirrors were also released.
While we waited for the van to return from Harties, the guys from harties fiseries, and two of Hanness guys cleared out some of the hyacinth in the little piece of water to make the netting process a little bit easier for the second round of netting. Two locals arrived and tried catching some of the fish, one of them hooked into a carp of +- 8kg, we could not see this fish being killed and bought it of the guy for R40. We filled a container with water and rushed the fish to the nearby lake, were it was released safely.
To the team of volunteers that arrived on Friday morning, and who all displayed the passion that we have for our carp population in South Africa. Thank you for coming out and making a difference. The fight is still far from over, but we now know that we can do it, and that we made a difference. A lot of the public were very happy to hear what we were doing, and the Hospital staff were also very glad that the fish were being saved, instead of being slaughtered by locals. This was a team effort between big carp anglers, which is a very positive thing to see with all the politics in our sport at the moment. In total 160 fish were removed and re located, all the bigger fish was safely released back into a nice local piece of water to get the chance to fight another day. I also received news from Renew from harties fisheries, to let me know that none of the carp has died during transportation.
Thanks to everyone involved with this first of many fish rescues that will be done in the future, Our fight did not go unseen, Benoni city times was onsite, and will do a full story on the rescue attempt, they also now have more ammunition to further their fight with the municipality of Benoni city. Everything that we do like this, makes a few more people aware of the situation that our eco systems are facing. And the public will also see that anglers are not all the same.