Toby Hulme with one of the many fish caught by his family at the weekend.
Toby Hulme with one of the many fish caught by his family at the weekend.

Family affair at Borumba TAG-A-TOGA fishing comp

FIFTY-SIX anglers converged on Lake Borumba for the fifth annual TAG-A-TOGA fishing event at the weekend, where the Hulmes showed that a family approach can be the secret to success.

The Hulmes family landed a total of 19 fish, at a total length 10.9m.

This was the most fish and the longest length any team had caught in the history of the event.

BIG CATCH: Toby Hulme with one of the many fish caught by his family at the event. Picture: Contributed
BIG CATCH: Toby Hulme with one of the many fish caught by his family at the event. Picture: Contributed

Kingaroy Sportfishing Club president Shaun Manthey said the Tag-A-Toga event was part of a long-term citizen science plan which aimed to collect data.

“The event aims to collect data on population, growth and growth rate dynamics of saratoga in Lake Borumba,” Manthey said.

“Events like these offer an opportunity to enjoy a social atmosphere while also contributing to a greater understanding of these important fish in Queensland impoundments.

“Sixty-one non-target species, predominantly Australian bass and golden perch were also encountered, and data recorded before being returned to the water ready to fight another day.”

A total of 104 saratoga were caught at the weekend, making it the most successful event in its history.

Mikey Unverzagt with a 750mm-long saratoga. Picture: Contributed
Mikey Unverzagt with a 750mm-long saratoga. Picture: Contributed

QLD Sportfishers president Adam Royle said the event was more than just a fishing competition.

“It is extremely satisfying to see member clubs run great events that incorporate both sport, social and conservation science elements into the mix,” Royle said.

“Kingaroy Sportfishing Club is one of a number of our affiliated clubs who have developed a club-specific Recreational Fishery Monitoring Plan and are now implementing fishery data collection and tagging to achieve their monitoring goals.

“Credit goes to both Kingaroy Sportfishing Club and the anglers who fished the event for having fun and contributing to a greater understanding of a highly regarded sportfish.”

The saratoga population is flourishing in Lake Borumba according to Manthey who said the event’s captured size range of 270–750mm proved there was a good self-sufficient breeding process under way.

“No tagged fish were recaptured throughout the event, which indicates quite a high number of resident fish,” Manthey said.

“Successful methods and secret spots are shared among the teams throughout the event, which results in more fish being caught and therefore more data captured.

“If you haven’t been to Borumba Dam, do yourself a favour – it’s a picturesque dam that’s full of fish, thanks to the great work of the dedicated local stocking group.”

Stewart Hansen with a fish fooled by a Nories Laydown Minnow. Picture: Contributed
Stewart Hansen with a fish fooled by a Nories Laydown Minnow. Picture: Contributed

As fish captures are on the rise, 2021 will be the last year Tag-a-Toga will be held at Borumba Dam as sufficient information will have been gathered so a report indicating how the area supports the volume of saratoga can be produced.

The club will now turn its attention to setting a date for next year’s event and securing the relevant permits.

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