This week we visit Ross River
Weir - Townsville, North Queensland
ROSS RIVER WEIR FACT
The efforts of
the Twin Cities Fish Stocking Society, who in recent years have introduced
in excess of 100 000 barramundi fingerlings into the freshwater reaches
of the Ross River, have been instrumental in restoring and promoting
one of the regions most valuable fisheries.
Society secretary Dr Keith Harveyson attributes the success of the
Ross River barramundi fishery and the immediate local fishery to a
small army of volunteers who, in association with the Queensland Department
of Primary Industries, realised something had to be done to reinstate
what was obviously a resource in sharp decline.
“The introduction of hatchery raised fish to Ross River, under the
guidance of DPI, has certainly reversed a trend where not more than
fifteen years ago the capture of more than one barramundi by a recreational
angler was big news. Now similar catches are regarded as merely incidental
as some anglers often attain their maximum bag limits,” Dr Harveyson
“The beauty of stocking the Ross River is that flooding waters during
the wet (season) allow mature fish to escape the weirs giving them
the opportunity to mix with wild stock and breed. This in turn benefits
a much greater area.”
Aplin, Gleeson and Black Weirs are now renowned for yielding world
record class barramundi for recreational anglers targeting the species.
Fish to and exceeding the maximum legal size for the species or approximately
24 kilograms are regularly encountered.
These Ross River
weirs are easily accessible with many anglers choosing to fish close
to the weir walls where big fish are often found.
Boating access is a little more difficult, although a canoe or small
tinny manhandled into the weirs is often well worth the effort.
These anglers often choose to troll large shallow running lures along
the vast weed banks and lillypad beds that line a good majority of
the rivers perimeter.
This is where big barramundi hunt.
Many others prefer to offer the fish live bait, which are usually
caught in either live bait traps or with baits presented on fine lines
and small hooks.
Banded grunter, spangled perch and mouth almighty are all superb baits
and easily caught with offerings of prawn, red meat, fish flesh or
A small amount of bread utilised as berley will attract these species
from considerable distance.
Speed restrictions apply on much of the weir waters, which come under
the authority of NQ Water Inc.
Recent recreational zoning of Black Weir still permits fishing. Four
zones divide the weir into specific recreational activity areas.
Zone A, B and C all cater for high speed motorised pursuits like ski
and jet ski activities and this area extends from the Black Weir to
a boundary immediately downstream of Gollogoly Lane.
Thereon, to the Ross River Dam wall, passive recreational activity
under six knots is permitted.
is allowed in all zones, anglers must give way to all vessels undertaking
their recreational activities in zones A, B and C.
Aplin Weir is approached via either O’Reilly Street or Burt Street
in Mundingburra or Fairlight Crescent off River Park Drive in Annandale.
Gleeson Weir can be accessed by taking Arinya Street off Ross River
Road in Cranbrook while Black Weir offers good options for landbased
anglers when approached from grounds adjacent the Weir School in Kirwan,
also on Ross River Road.
Loam Island and Apex Park off Upper Ross River Road also offers excellent
access to Black Weir.
Aplin weir separates the salt water reaches of the lower Ross from
the remainder of the river, which was originally the domestic water
supply for the city.
It is here many anglers choose to fish – especially during the wet
season when barramundi line up below the weir wall to feast on tarpon,
banded grunter, freshwater herring and a variety of other food sources
that are washed over.
Fishing here can be hazardous during heavy flows. Fishing off any
of the weir spillways is prohibited and is policed by NQ Water rangers.
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Fish N 4 Productions Pty Ltd