Help locate acoustic stations

News release | 19-Mar-2019

Help is being sought to locate equipment vital to a Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) research project at Cressbrook Dam.

DAF Principal Fisheries Biologist Dr Michael Hutchison said several acoustic listening receivers being used in the Impoundment Habitat Enhancement Research Program had either been tampered with or moved since they were installed in September 2018.

“Acoustic listening receivers track the movements of 30 bass and 30 golden perch in Cressbrook Dam with high accuracy and evaluate fish use of installed fish attractor habitats and other parts of the dam,” Dr Hutchison said.

“The receivers have been placed so as to achieve the best triangulation of fish positions in the dam and around installed habitat.

“Finding the missing receivers is, therefore, in every anglers’ best interest as data from the stations ultimately helps improve fishing in the dam.

“For example, anglers use the data as a guide to finding the best places to fish and the data also helps DAF researchers fine tune efforts to improve fishing in the dam.”

Dr Hutchison said DAF was keen to locate the missing receivers and would appreciate any assistance from members of the public.

“Acoustic listening receivers are cylindrical in shape, approximately 40 centimetres tall and are secured to rope with a cement block at its base,” Dr Hutchison said.

“The rope is topped by a white float and, on some of the ropes there is an additional small transponder tag attached just above the receiver.

“Because the only visible part of the receivers are a white float, we understand how the stations can accidentally become snagged in fishing gear or initially mistaken for something such as a redclaw trap.”

Dr Hutchison said the main concern was for the prompt return of the valuable equipment which had data that could add to anglers’ enjoyment by improving fishing in dams.

“As they receive rather than send signals, acoustic listening receivers cannot be easily located if they are moved,” Dr Hutchison said.

“No questions will be asked so anyone with information about the location of the missing receivers should contact the DAF call centre 13 25 23.

“Anglers who accidentally pull up an acoustic receiver should drop it back exactly where they found it.”

The Impoundment Habitat Enhancement Research Program is a joint project between DAF, Toowoomba Regional Council, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and the Toowoomba and District Fish Stocking Association.

Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au