As a branch of the Monaro Acclimatisation Society, Kydra Kybeyan branch is responsible for monitoring the health and where necessary stocking Rainbow and Brown trout in the Kydra River, Kybeyan River, the middle reaches of the Maclaughlin River, and the middle and lower reaches of Bobundara Creek.
On the opening day of the river trout fishing season,our Annual General Meeting and BBQ are held at the Kybeyan Hall commencing at midday.
New members are always welcome. The annual membership fee is $10 and may be paid at the season opening BBQ or sent to the Treasurer: Julian Hughes, 53 Cowles Road, Mosman, NSW 2088.
All correspondence should be addressed to the secretary: Rod Whiteway, 9 Thompson Drive, Tathra, NSW 2550. Phone:(02)64945758 or email.
Kybeyan River and hall
Last season panned out much as I suggested it would in last years’ newsletter. It was the third consecutive year of below average rainfall on Monaro. For the season (July to June) we had only 550 mm of rain, 20 less than the previous season. The spring was exceptionally dry in line with the Bureau of Meteorology forecast, but as has been the case over recent seasons there was rain over summer, most of it delivered in storms, some of which unfortunately proved to be very destructive. High temperatures were also an issue. As an example, water temperatures in the lower Thredbo River reached and stayed at around 27 degrees for a number of days around Australia day. Temperatures over 26 degrees, if maintained for long periods, are lethal to trout and there were significant losses of fish in Gaden Hatchery, which draws its water from the Thredbo river. The situation would have been worse but for the efforts of the dedicated hatchery staff. Over this period the Kydra and the Maclaughlin stopped flowing, but their major pools remained intact. The Kybeyan and Bobundara got low, but retained flows throughout the season. The Kybeyan was particularly lucky getting a couple of non-destructive summer storms that the Kydra largely missed out on. While there were probably a few fish losses in shallow or dry sections of most streams over this period, I suspect they were minimal. Ironically the most damage to fish stocks was due to too much water delivered too quickly. In February two huge thunderstorms within half an hour of each other, in the catchments of the Bobundarra and Maclaughlin, dumped a flood of hot water and silt into both streams. These were followed up by a similar huge storm about a week later. After the flood there was a report of dead fish found in the Bobundara around the Dalgety Bridge, evidence that fish had survived the earlier hot dry conditions but also to the effect of the flood.
This is undoubtedly a disaster as both these streams were fishing the best that they had since the 1980s. If you are lucky enough to catch a fish in either of these waters next season, I encourage you to release them to give them a chance to spawn next autumn. This is particularly important as the fingerlings we stocked recently will not spawn for two years.
The bright spots in this bleak scenario are firstly that despite the fish kill in the hatchery we got our full allocation of brown fingerlings, and NSW Fisheries held them over until April. Consequently they were larger than normal and released into cool flowing water in all our streams. The other positive is that the Kybeyan appears to have come through well based on the results of a couple of autumn outings I had there.