Part 2 transcript

Scott - Gooday, I'm Scott Gray and Welcome to Part 2 of the angler Diary Program video series. IN this instalment we are going to learn a little bit more about how anglers are involved in the program and this generally falls into two categories – general angler diarists and research angler diarists. We are going to start today by talking to Ken Radley, who's a research angler diarist, and he's just pulled up from a trip out fishing…… mate how did you go.

Ken – Yeah, pretty quiet today Scott, just a few small ones. It's pretty rough out there, but a few samples, so that's good. I just enjoy being out there, even on days like this.

Scott – It takes a very dedicated person to be a research diary angler, which is what you are – what sort of information do you collect for the diary program?

Ken – I collect the size of the fish and that's their fork length. I have certain locations that I nominate that I fish, and so what I'm trying to get is a range of fish, particularly bream and estuary perch that are in the system, and I'm trying to find out where they are, and what times of year that they are more abundant or less abundant and the year classes that are coming through. So I enjoy it, and that's the main information that I try to gather.

Scott – You've been doing this for ten years now haven't you?

Ken – Yes, I'm into my thirteenth year now. I was one of the first people who started, thanks to a few friends at Deakin University who had jobs down in Queenscliff, and then I met Simon Conron and he was someone who invited me to come along and take part – so I really enjoy it.

Scott – I guess that's the really unique thing about the angler diary program too is that you're collecting information over a really long time period, which is really hard to find, and hard to do for scientists themselves too.

Ken – Yes, and that's been great for me, because I've been able to actually follow a certain year class of fish from say 1999 to now, and I can follow their growth, and they're still abundant in the system. In fact, they've been probably the main year class that sustained the fishery down here, and they're about 34 cms now. So they're not bad on the end of the rod, and they're not bad eating either.

Scott – Well I'm actually general angler diarist, as opposed to Ken who's a research angler diarist, and I record my usual fishing activities. So what I'm going to do now is to take you up the river, up the Merri River up in Warrnambool for a bit of trout fishing, and show you how I'm involved in the program.


Scott –  Well trout fishing is one of my loves and that is one of the things I do all year around, but particularly in the spring months when the rivers are running, and the trout are on the bite, and they come up into the ripples here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to target some of these to run in the ripples here with small minnow lures, now when I do a lot of bay fishing, all my fishing is done pretty much with little bib minnows like that, and the idea basically is to cast them up into the runs, where the fish are hopefully holding up, and then winding them back and trying to get a strike, so we'll see if it works.


Scott – Got him….. oh, that's what they do, they hide under the banks, and look at him here. It's just instantaneous when the fish come out in the current. He's a nice little fish. That's why I love trout fishing so much. It's so dynamic when you fish in these rivers. We might actually just beach this one here. It's not a huge fish, there he is, a beautiful brown trout, and that's what these rivers are famous for. I've been fishing here for these fish in the rivers for nearly 20 years, even though I've only been involved in the angler diary program for about five now. That is a beautiful brown trout. About probably a kilo in size. Very typical for this part of the river, on the upper Merri here….. okay…. The hook's out nice and quickly. Now I'm going to let this fish go, but it's important that I record the information about this fish, before I let it go, so I can include that in my angler diary for this trip.

So what I've got here, I always carry a ruler with me and my book, just in case, and I'm going to measure this fish, write those details in the book and then I'm going to head up the bank. There's a couple of other good fish here, and I'm going to show you how I enter the data from this trip into my diary.

Very typical of a stocked fish this fish. Now I measure the fork length here, and that is rounded down to 43 cms. Now the other thing I need to do before I let this fish go, is to check for fin clipping. Now all the fish in this river here, are actually stocked by Fisheries, and from time to time they actually fin clip the fins, so we can look at the different size classes of fish and how they're going. So I will just quickly check for a fin clip. Usually the ventral fins, one of them's clipped. In this case there isn't any clip and the adipose fin here, that's actually still there, so that hasn't been clipped either. It's still a stocked fish though, but we'll let this fish go back in the water, and then we'll record the details in our diary.

The water's nice and cold at the moment, so it shouldn't take too long to revive this fish…….. there he goes. He's fine, alright, let's go and record this data.


Scott – So simply a matter of writing in the date and filling in these boxes here. Okay, target species is brown trout, we're fishing the Merri River. It's important you write as clearly as possible too when you're doing this. It makes it a lot easier for the scientists back at Queenscliff to enter the data. Time fishing started ---- now I started this morning, I checked my watch. It was 9.00a m, and I've just finished up now, and it's 11.30. I didn't have any breaks. Now there's only myself fishing and I only used the one rod spinning. Now I didn't use a bait, so I'll just cross that out, and I'll write 'lure fishing'. Other anglers use bait, but that's not for me. Depth of water that I fished was very shallow, so I'll just write 'less than one metre' and the hook patterns that I'm using are treble hooks. They're not standard hooks like people use for bait fishing, so I'll just write 'treble hooks' in here.

Okay, now boat or shore fishing. Well obviously I was fishing form the shore, so I'll simply circle that and all I need to do now is measure the fish. So I put the head right up against the end of the ruler there make sure it's flat. I'm looking at the fork length here, and I've got to round it down to the nearest centimetre. So this fish is 40cm fork length. I'll enter that in, brown trout, this one was kept, 40 cms.

Let's move on to the next fish. This one's a bit bigger. Head right up against the end right again and luckily just fits on the end of the ruler. Now this one is 50 cms fork length, just enter that information.

Okay so that one's done. Now you'll also remember that the last fish I caught, I actually released. It's very important that I put that in the book too. Now at the time, I measured the fish before I released it, so I know how big it was.

Now that was a brown trout that I released. So three in total here. I just tick the release box with one fish and that was 33 cms fork length. So I've fill in all the boxes just to check, I've filled in all the fish details. Other comments here – I might just write that the water was a bit discoloured and there you go, simple as that. That's all the information that I need to record from today's fishing trip for the researchers.