I have started to erect bird wire over 2/3/4 ponds today, I stood up 14 posts with the help of a local bobcat driver and I will string fencing wire over the top of the posts to eventually support the bird wire.
We had good rain overnight this made the ground soggy but I am grateful for the rain, it will help fill the dams tanks and ponds.
The large green bundle on the deck of pond 4 is the bird wire.
I have taken the opportunity during this fairly quiet time on the farm to empty and refill pond no 1 this is the pond where the first fish I bred came from. the fish in this pond were sourced from a farm dam and the genetics were a concern so to take away those concerns I will populate the pond with fish from nearby streams not all from the one place so as not to impact to heavily on a small population, somewhere from six to ten fish to make sure I have a breeding pair.
As you can see I doubled the air and added more breeding boxes, weed growth is good and there are plenty of yabbies as well copepods water beetles and so on. the pond itself is about 2 metres deep sloping at each end, length is about 8 metres and about 5 metres wide. if the rain keeps coming it will be full in a couple of days.
UPDATE: I would like to thank all the 1744 people who view this blog it is my view that awareness will be all important in the fight to save these iconic fish.
I have attained a permit from fisheries to sell my Blackfish to the public . On a personal note I am also thrilled to be acknowledged by fisheries to be the first to breed and rear Blackfish in a aquaculture system.
Because I now hold this permit it will allow me grow the farm and produce more Blackfish.
Any one who has tried to grow and breed blackfish will know that they are notoriously hard to farm so there are no guarantees however all things going well I should have plenty of fish to sell this season ( around Christmas ) I will have to record to whom I sell so names and addresses will be needed the price will $20 for fingerlings and $100 for yearlings if available.
Habitat is without doubt the most fundamental element to have in a waterway, in these pictures I show both natural and artificial, both will do the same job however the natural one looks better and imparts nothing to the water, if you are replacing habitat in a natural stream or river then looks become important in a farm dam or pond then not so much.
Above is a natural hollow log.
The depth of habitat is also important I place mine at different levels starting at just 600mm and going as deep as 1.5 mtrs oddly enough the fish prefer the shallower one I suspect the water surface temperature plays a part in that.
During the winter months I start the process of producing food for the young fish that will hatch in the spring , firstly I plant lots of insect attracting plants in or near the water, l place solar lights close to the edge of the water to attract insects, I have clumps of limestone in the water this helps keep the P/H down, later I will introduce some nutrient such as cow manure or blood and bone this will encourage algal growth and along with the sun this will produce plankton which will feed the young fish.
As you can see the dam is coming along, the grass on the bank is doing ok it would do better if I fertilised it however some of that nutrient would flow into the dam and contribute to the growth of algae, there will be enough nutrient in the water that enters the dam because it comes mainly from farm land.
In the foreground you can see native grasses that we planted today this grass is by far the best way to filter water.
Also in the video you can see a soaker hose secured to the dam floor this will act as an aerator once the dam fills.
We have not had enough rain to fill the dam yet however both of the bowls are holding so we wait for rain.
Everyone who reads this blog will know that I have a drone, I intend to fly this machine over rivers and creek in my area, this will be an invaluable asset in detection of good and bad habitat in areas where it is difficult to walk.
I believe technologies like this can help us protect and monitor these places better than we ever have before, there will be more tech to come in the future, better water testing and monitoring systems.
below are a selection of waterways that have fallen victim to this contraption.
The drone itself is only the base model but has a good camera.
The new dam will have water in the spring, I will put Blackfish in next year, probably fish I bred last year they will a good size by then.
Mumblin hidden wonder.
What can you say about beautiful Bullen Merri I have been spending time there all my life and I still find it stunning, great fishing, great scenery, the facilities are pretty good and the grounds are terrific a great picnic spot.
Skinners creek below is in the Otway forest in southwest Victoria. the creek used to hold large amounts of Blackfish but they have disappeared we don’t know why, one thing that stood out when filming this clip was the lack of copepods and other insect larvae, if we don’t have food for young fish we won’t have young fish.
While I was checking the Simpson dam the other day I came across this dog, I don’t know how it climbed the rock.
The Simpson dam has according to the shire an algae bloom so I went to check it out the only thing I could see was Azolla fern which is native to Australia and indigenous to the region.
Rather than being a problem I think the Azolla will benefit the water by removing nutrient and heavy metals from the water column.
It would be wise to remove some of the fern so that more could grow and remove more nutrient from the water and lessen the likelihood of future algae outbreaks, if it is not removed it will simply die and release the stored nutrient back into the water thus ensuring ongoing blooms.
The good news is the Azolla can be used as fertilizer for plants and gardens and food for some farm animals.
UPDATE: for those of you that would like to know the water quality I took four readings.
sal- 151 ppm
temp 13* c
turb the water was clear.
it was midday when test were taken.
it was clear coolish day.
Gambusia were present in large numbers.
there are two dams in the system only the top dam has azolla.