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1 October, 2020

Fishing comp success

Native freshwater species in Cassowary Coast waterways can gulp a sigh of relief this week thanks to the 2020 Tilapia Tournament which saw nearly 2,000 of the pesky Tilapia removed from Warrina Lakes in Innisfail.

Warrina Lakes in Innisfail. Five hundred people from throughout the Far North registered to take part in the Tournament, catching an extraordinary 527KG of Tilapia which are being recycled into compost for the Johnstone River Community Garden. 

The fishing competition was redesigned by Cassowary Coast Regional Council this year to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions in a week-long tournament during school holidays. 

Commonly referred to as the ‘cane toad of waterways’, Tilapia have a high rate of repopulation and aggressively outcompete native species for food and space leading to a decline in biodiversity and species abundance. 

Tournament co-host OzFish thanked Council for raising awareness of the damage Tilapia cause to local eco systems. “The direct benefit of this event is the removal of this fish from local waters,” said North Queensland Project Manager for OzFish, Dr Geoff Collins, who explained that most new Tilapia infestations are caused by people moving live fish to new locations and not by natural spread across catchment boundaries. 

 The Tilapia Tournament culminated yesterday afternoon with this year’s winners announced as 11 year-old Jase Braun who caught 245 fish, and 13 year-old Oliver Burgess who caught the biggest fish.

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