The bass are biting

After many years of offering the best in all forms of saltwater fishing - in estuaries, beaches and rocks, and out at sea, the Shoalhaven is now adding another string to its angling bow.

Flat Rock Creek just out of Nowra is fast gaining a reputation as a premier fresh water fishery with keen bass anglers making regular pilgrimage to the dam that was initially established to supply water to Nowra.

During the past five years about 12,000 bass fingerlings have been released into the dam, with the latest release of 4000 fingerings from Narooma Aquaculture taking place on Monday.

The release was the result of three different organisations working together.

The Southern Bass Club has been keen to keep up bass numbers in the dam, and was set to use funds it had raised to pay for more fingerlings.

The club’s amount was matched by Shoalhaven City Council, and then NSW Fisheries matched that total to fund release of bass fingerlings into Flat Rock Creek, Wandandian Creek and Mullet Creek at Dapto.

The NSW Fisheries Funds for the bass restocking came from the trust fund established with inland fishing licence fees.

Fisheries officers said the fingerling release was in line with the organisation’s aims to improve recreation fishing in NSW, along with trying the restock native fish into areas where they were once located.

Peter Dicker from Southern Bass explained the club comprised keen anglers who got together to put fish back into the water, and “get things done that we couldn’t do on an individual level”.

He said the club encouraged a catch and release approach to the bass, which were “primarily here as a sports fish”.

Continual restocking of the dam was needed, Mr Dicker explained, because the process of establishing the dam and cutting off access to salt water meant the bass would not breed within the impoundment.

However despite that the survival rate was good, and anglers were regularly catching fish of between 300 and 400 grams, Mr Dicker reported.