Springfield Lakes Hosting a One-Day Pest Fishing Event

Photo credit: CC-BY/Mike/Flickr

Springfield Lakes is hosting the Inaugural Pest Fishing Classic.

The first Springfield Lakes Pest Fishing Classic will be held Saturday 17 March 2018 from 6:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Spring Lake.

Fishing is generally not allowed at any of Springfields’ man-made lakes, however, the pest fishing event has been given permission by wildlife authorities and the local council of Ipswich, as a way for officials to educate residents about the effects of pest species in their bodies of water, while doing so in a controlled and monitored manner.

Photo credit: queenslandplaces.com.au

The event is a collaboration between Lendlease, Ipswich City Council, and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries which will be strictly managed under a Biosecurity Queensland pest fishing permit through fishing event management group, 2 Bent Rods.

Pest fishing is not new in Springfield Lakes since, despite the no fishing rule in the lake, some anglers are still throwing a line in to help get rid of pest fishes like Tilapia and Carp.

Read: Determined Angler Talks about Pest-Fishing Despite “No Fishing” Signs at Spring Lake

Pest fishes, like tilapia, for example, was first introduced to Australia as an ornamental fish in the 1970s and is now regarded as one of the greatest threats to Australia’s natural biodiversity, according to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

Photo credit: Leonie Kellermann/Wikimedia Commons

These species are not naturally found in Springfields’ three lakes and can cause substantial damage to the local biodiversity, as they compete with endemic species for food and space, become predators of the local species, and may even bring diseases to the area they inhabit.

Invasive species typically do not have any natural predators in the wild to control their population.

According to the World Conservation Union, invasive species are the second most significant threat to biodiversity, with habitat loss being the first.

In a statement by Ipswich City Council Health, Security and Community Safety Committee chairperson Cr Sheila Ireland, she said that the council are aware of pest fishing activities in the area. With this, they thought that having an organised pest fishing event in a controlled environment is the best way to teach locals about pest fishes.

Photo credit: Facebook/SEQ Carp & Tilly Busters

With the aim of raising awareness in the wider community about the detrimental impacts of pest fish, education sessions on the pest species will be provided during the registration for the event. Trained helpers will also be available to make sure that catches are correctly disposed of in dedicated waste bins.

Fishing is typically frowned upon by residents of the area, due to previous experience with some fishermen who leave dead fish and their entrails scattered about the boardwalk.

Some residents are also concerned that the event may cause the incidence of illegal fishing in the area to increase but event organisers are hopeful that the event will be a good opportunity for locals to support a good cause.

Registration is required for the event which will start at 6:45 a.m. and a fee of  $5 will be collected. The proceeds from the registration will be used to restock native species in the lake after the event.

Pest fishing starts at 7:00 a.m. and prizes will be up for grabs. A weigh-in station and sausage sizzle will also be available in the event.

For event tickets and registration, click here.

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.