Ewen Maddock Fish Management Incorporated
Ewen Maddock Fish Management Incorporated (EMFMInc) was formed in May 2010. It consists of a small group of like-minded anglers whose principal goals were to see the lake become a prominent sport fishing impoundment and destination for anglers to catch native freshwater fish as well as promoting recreational fishing within the Sunshine Coast region. Members are local business owners, recreational anglers, representatives from government bodies, administrators of web based fishing forums and dedicated members of the public. It is widely recognised that the potential to catch trophy sized species such as Australian Bass and Saratoga will act as a drawcard to the region for a wide range of sport and recreational anglers.
The Group conducted their first fingerling release into Ewen Maddock Dam in February 2011 which was the first stocking activity in the lake for over 10 years. As a result of this success and the enthusiasm and dedication of the members of the Group it has now been voted and agreed that EMFMInc will also manage the stocking program for Baroon Pocket Dam. This expanded role was prompted by the QLD Government Department of Environment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI). With the assistance of DEEDI officers, five year management plans for the fish stocking of Ewen Maddock and Baroon Pocket Dams have now been drafted and approved.
EMFMInc rely on Government grants, sponsorship, and many fundraising activities to annually stock both lakes with native fish. The overall aim is to establish and maintain the lakes as world class sportfisheries which can be enjoyed by all generations into the future. It is hoped the stocking programs will eventually permit annual fishing competitions.
The management of these stocking programs would not be possible without EMFMInc working closely with the fishery officers of DEEDI and the officers of SEQ Water. The cooperative nature of the three organisations ensures all facets of public interest, water supply, and the environment is addressed. EMFMInc is committed to this “partnership” and encourages all users of the lakes to respect all relevant rules and regulations from these governing bodies.
“To create, maintain, monitor, and assist in research, to sustain by stocking multi-species as recreational fisheries in Ewen Maddock Dam and Baroon Pocket Dam.”
The Reasoning Behind Restocking Landlocked Environments
When European settlers first established themselves throughout the countryside of Australia, they had the concept that Australian native freshwater fish, migrated similarly to European Trout and Salmon. However these very different fish couldn’t be any further from being similar to each other. Many man-made weirs, barrages and dam walls, were constructed without effective and appropriate fish ladders to accommodate the migration of our Australian native fish. Their abilities to make their way back upstream over these man-made structures after spawning rendered it impossible and migration patterns and breeding cycles were and still are, impeded today.
In a flood event, Australian species such as Australian Bass and Barramundi head downstream where they need brackish water to spawn and breed before heading back upstream to freshwater to complete their life cycles. These man-made structures prevent Australian native freshwater fish from migrating in the very upper reaches of our creeks and rivers. To replenish stocks further upstream above these man-made structures, stocking groups such as Ewen Maddock Fish Management Inc. re-stock these native fish in these land locked environments and impoundments.
Other Australian native freshwater species such as Golden Perch, Murray and Mary River Cod sometimes prefer to head upstream to spawn in flood events. These man-made structures prevent these fish to head upstream to breed with other fish of their own kind. In this case, interbreeding can occur and genetic purity can be lost as a result. Saratoga is another species that can also breed in a land locked environment, re-stocking native fish above these man-made structures assists in genetic diversity to prevent fish abnormalities.
Re-stocking Australian native freshwater fish in these impoundments assists in the bio-diversity and ecology of these environments.