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Eddles

The return of the Crab Berries

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#1
The return of the crab berries:

The floods of June 2011 destroyed the cables installed on the upper Kubusie river section of Wriggleswade dam which resulted in masses of Water hyacinth entering the main dam. Now two years later and with very little control from the powers that be, this aquatic plant has boomed and rendered many parts of the dam unfishable and unnavigable! As you can imagine, protests and correspondence have been aplenty in an effort to secure some sort of plan to control this but all to no avail!

[Image: Hyacinth-at-Featherstones3.jpg]

So, to cut a long story short, when the N winds blow there are masses which accumulate along the bank where boats would normally launch from and where bank angling is allowed for Carp. Recent reports suggest that these masses contain hundreds if not thousands of tiny freshwater crabs ranging from larvae to 50c piece size. Now considering that the bass’s primary food here is crabs and gone are the days when our live wells were filled with crab shells after a day’s fishing, this invader might just prove to be the reason for a good kick-start in a reviving bass fishery at Wriggleswade in the future. We have culled through a slot limit, introduced fodder fish but no ways could we duplicate this massive breeding explosion in the crab population.

[Image: Wriggleswade-23-May-2013.jpg]

Catch 22 or what……..! The cold is busy killing off the hyacinth which the crabs have been feasting on and using as floating homes. Meanwhile the Hyacinth has also been using a lot of nutrients and cleaning our water whilst acting as an algaecide at the same time through shading. We have a free environmentalist at work here albeit the dam is “supposed” to be a no tolerance zone for this weed!

I have to go there this Sunday for a meeting so will take the camera and see if I can record this phenomenon for interest sake.
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#2
Wow. Amazing how nature can turn the tables. Awesome!
[Image: outdoors_zps5be0abce.gif]
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#3
Very interesting read rippie i see at inanda there is a cable that stops the cabbage from getting out of hand in the dam keeping it in the river section.
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#4
Ernst, the cables are there to counter the inefficiencies of the authorities responsible but they are never maintained on time and provide a backup to protect your *ss when you don't do your job, but alas, mother nature knows how to sort that out!
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#5
Ernst Wrote:Very interesting read rippie i see at inanda there is a cable that stops the cabbage from getting out of hand in the dam keeping it in the river section.

Ernst the cable or boom is gone and the hyacinth is not a problem because it is well managed due to the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Here is a pic of the boom area by the bridge which I took from up river looking back towards the main dam, a section I have not been to or able to get to before due to hyacinth.

[Image: IMG_2091.JPG]

Very interesting how they use insects (bio-control program) for a long term solution and spraying as a short term solution.

"Once the weeds are sprayed, they then die and sink to the bottom of the river, opening up the water way again. While spraying is a “quick” solution to the problem, the group has implemented an integrated management program which includes a successful bio-control program - the use of insects in the control of alien vegetation – which assists in slowing down the growth rate of weed populations."

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.dusi.co.za/news1324.html">http://www.dusi.co.za/news1324.html</a><!-- m -->
The more I learn about fishing the more I realise
how much more I have to learn about fishing.
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BWG
#6
Jeremy Wrote:
Ernst Wrote:Very interesting read rippie i see at inanda there is a cable that stops the cabbage from getting out of hand in the dam keeping it in the river section.

Ernst the cable or boom is gone and the hyacinth is not a problem because it is well managed due to the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Here is a pic of the boom area by the bridge which I took from up river looking back towards the main dam, a section I have not been to or able to get to before due to hyacinth.

[Image: IMG_2091.JPG]

Very interesting how they use insects (bio-control program) for a long term solution and spraying as a short term solution.

"Once the weeds are sprayed, they then die and sink to the bottom of the river, opening up the water way again. While spraying is a “quick” solution to the problem, the group has implemented an integrated management program which includes a successful bio-control program - the use of insects in the control of alien vegetation – which assists in slowing down the growth rate of weed populations."

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.dusi.co.za/news1324.html">http://www.dusi.co.za/news1324.html</a><!-- m -->

Wow that must be a recent development as the cable was there on the 1st and 2nd of June still was wondering if it would be possible to get up the river.
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#7
One of our members did a Thesis as part of his MSC on insect and insect interactions using a field study with Hyacinth on Wriggleswade. Very interesting indeed, however the booms or cables are there for a reason and will only work if managed properly.

Once the plants die (herbicide or cold) they sink to the bottom where the carp have a field day turning our dam into a sludge pool.
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#8
Just as a matter of interest...what's it going to take to get some manual labour in there and physically remove the weeds when it bunches against the side?

Or is that not a viable option?

Can you imagine trying to stage the classic with that amount of weed around?
Worst case scenario. Saturday evening the guys lock down the boats against the bank. The wind turns during the night pushing 3 rugby field sized mats of weed against the campsite bank. Effectively trapping 80-90 boats until the wind turns again.

I'm happy that the crabs will get a head start on the bass before spring. But spring also brings regenerative powers to the weed - double edged sword...
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#9
Ernst Wrote:Wow that must be a recent development as the cable was there on the 1st and 2nd of June still was wondering if it would be possible to get up the river.

No that pic was taken when I did this trip on the 28th April so maybe it was down during the week for repairs or some other reason.

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The more I learn about fishing the more I realise
how much more I have to learn about fishing.
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#10
Thanks riprap for the interesting read, hopefully there's not too much of it around for Inter-Provincials in October.
Team Aquamarine
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BWG
#11
Aha, I was going to say something but then that would put my team mates at a disadvantage.......! :blue-smile:

By October it should theoretically be a lot less if we have a normal cold winter and the water temp drops to 10 degrees or colder. Bear in mind too that Smallmouth Yellowfish are full up and their favourite food is crabs.
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#12
:blue-lol:

I look forward to fishing Wriggleswade, going to be my first time.
Team Aquamarine
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#13
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/science/apes/research/water/6767/water_hyacinth.html">http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/science/ ... cinth.html</a><!-- m -->
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#14
Spro, it can be tough just as any water and then those unbelievable days. Florida's are the problem........!
Don't believe all those rumours that a black buzzbait works! :blue-lol: Or the pink trick worms that WP love so much....... :blue-lol:
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#15
The famous black buzz bait, heard that many times. :blue-smile:
Fortunately the team going has many guys in it that have fished the dam a lot of times.
Really looking forward to it.
Floridas are very cheeky individuals and make life tough wherever they preside.
But the pink trick worm always gets them :blue-badgrin:
Team Aquamarine
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BWG


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