Matthew Mott, Noel and Jonathon Ward, and Doug Schier from the Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking Association.
Matthew Mott, Noel and Jonathon Ward, and Doug Schier from the Boondooma Dam Fish Stocking Association.

Burnett lake full of fish ahead of year’s biggest comp

TO KEEP Lake Boondooma as the ultimate South Burnett fishing location, members of the Fish Stocking Association have released over 130,000 yellow belly and bass into the dam.

Matthew Mott from the association organised the release, ahead of the lake's upcoming yearly Yellow Belly Fishing Competition.

"We put 42,500 yellow belly into the dam and we had close to 100 people turn up," Mr Mott said.

"Instead of just releasing them all here at the main boat ramp we took some out and released them on the water.

"There were heaps of families and kids who are here on holidays that got involved. It was pretty exciting for them, not something you see everyday."

Mr Mott said they prefer to release the fish in more than one spot to try and separate them.

"It really just spreads them out a bit better and gives them a better chance to get started," he said.

"I like to put them up against the dam wall too.

"So that way they've got somewhere to hide."

The Fish Stocking Association representatives said they had spent approximately $30,000 to put more fish back into the dam.

"Just three weeks ago we let another 55,000 yellow bellies and 31,000 bass into the dam," Mr Mott said.

"Then we have big plans to let some more go at the big fishing tournament we have here in February.

"So far the plan is to release another 20,000 fish."

Lake Boondooma is renowned for it's fishing tournaments, and Mr Mott said without the regular releases of fish, these wouldn't be as successful.

"We do this every year," he said.

"It takes the fish about 18 months to grow to legal size.

"So we've got to stay ahead of the game and keep releasing them to prepare for fishing tournaments in a year of so time."

Despite the release of fish being a regular occurrence, this year has been slightly different.

"We've released a lot more this year than we usually do," Mr Mott said.

"It's also the only year we've been really open about letting the public know when and how many we are releasing.

"Especially with drought and dam levels being low people have said they're concerned the fishing won't be so good.

"So we're going to extra miles to make sure it still can be."

Despite a tough time with drought currently plaguing the South Burnett, Lake Boondooma has enough water to keep going for a while.

"We're really lucky here that we've got a lot more water than a lot of other places," Mr Mott said.

"It's at about 23% and is really healthy at the moment.

"The fish are healthy, the water quality is great, and there's good boat access.

"I haven't seen the dam water levels this low in about twenty years. But, the dam is holding it's own and doing alright.

"We're still in desperate need of rain though."

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