Why there’s no pike left
This picture was taken yesterday at around 11am, about 2 minutes before these professional fisherman(and I use the word professional with a great deal of contempt.. there's nothing professional about ripping the guts out of fisheries) ran their net around the entire northern wavebreak weed bed. Once they were finished we went over, and tried for a pike and got zip, not even a touch.
The fish that weren't caught, would have left the area immediately and it takes weeks for them to return. This is from Lindsay on Ausfish and is worth reading.
"What happens is - when a net is shot around a school of mullet, tailor, bream, goldens, whiting, dart ..... any fish that can drum muscles against their swim bladder and produce a vocalisation, which we haven't found any that don't yet ..... the fish emit what is known as a 'distress signal' or 'alarm signal'. Other fish nearby of any species that has a history of being netted, relay this signal on and so on & so on and this is known as 'secondary transmission'. This is an evolutionary trait in many marine and terrestrial animals and improves survival prospects of these species.
These fish move away from the source of the distress and this is known as 'net avoidance'. What is known as 'area abandonment' occurs, whereby the fish tend to stay away from that area for a period documented, and observed countless times here and elsewhere for a period of between 1 and 2 weeks. The fish then begin to move back into the abandoned area and the pros, knowing that it'll be between 1 and 2 weeks before they can find fish there again, shoot the nets again and the process repeats itself. The length and volume of the area abandonment has many variables - depends on species and age of the netted fish and the size of the haul. A netted school of greenback tailor of say 4 tonnes will cause a far more severe area abandonment than would a haul of 1 tonne of small dart for example.
These guys pictured get around a bit, and they have no respect for the fish or other fisherman. I've heard about them netting entire schools of tailor that were busting up, while anglers were catching them. They don't just target one weedbed either, I've seen them netting most of the weedbeds in the broadwater. Sooner or later these guys are going to piss off someone with a bad attitude, and there will be blood in the water... and it won't be fish blood.
I think its time that the broadwater and associated rivers were treated as a recreational fishing haven like they have in NSW, but of course that would require a government or council that actually cared about the fishery and its obvious ours don't other than locking up huge areas as green zones.