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Fishing Report: Muddy waters make boating difficult 17/12/2010


Looks like we are definitely getting our fill of rain - hope the dams in Queensland are full to the brim and the chance of a drought is well and truly off the cards this summer. As for the Sunshine Coast, may it go on record that we have really only experienced a couple of actual ‘Summer' days so far and we are already halfway through December.

Is this a sign of our Summer ahead? Meteorologists around the country are speculating over the wet Christmas/dry Christmas alternatives. One thing is for sure, we have had more than enough rain in the past week to make the local rivers and estuaries rise to a level which has had locals wondering if a flood is on the way. Bucket-loads of rain coupled with big tides associated with the full moon on Tuesday December 21 have fishing and boating groups on their toes and looking out for dangers that may follow.

The key ingredients required to create a flood, be it flash or non-flash include: Heavy rainfall caused by severe thunderstorms -isolated storms typically cause flash flooding in relatively small catchments or organised systems may extend to affect more than one catchment. Plus if we add a dash of poor drainage into the mix, caused usually from built up sand or mud, then your flood will fully develop into an erosion causing danger almost immediately. The chance of increased swell or even tidal wave would definitely wreak havoc on our coastline, when combined with flooding.

Floods are classified by the Bureau of Meteorology depending on the local flood gauge height and the resulting level of local community impact as follows:

1. Minor flooding: Causes inconvenience such as closing of minor roads and the submergence of low level bridge.

2. Moderate flooding: Causes the inundation of low lying areas requiring the removal of stock and/or the evacuation of some houses. Main traffic bridges may be closed by floodwaters.

3. Major flooding: This causes inundation of large areas, isolating towns and cities. Major disruptions occur to road and rail links. Evacuation of many houses and business premises may be required. In rural areas widespread flooding of farmland is likely.

Floods and swollen rivers from excess rain can affect millions of people each year, at the least they can effect business and infrastructure and at the worst the water mass can claim lives and cause irreparable destruction. It always pays to know your local area and how to ensure your safety. Though there isn't a flood warning for any Sunshine Coast rivers and estuaries, it is always a good move to be wary of the dangers associated. It is obvious to take caution in and around unpredictable natural weather conditions like flooding, the following is a list of potential dangers during and after flooding:

1. Wading through flood waters

Wading through flood waters is dangerous for several reasons. First, flood waters can be moving at a rapid pace. Before you know it, you can be swept away and drown. Next, flood water can contain hundreds of different chemicals that are harmful for the body. In addition, bacteria and other microorganisms can cause disease and infection.

2. Driving in flood waters

Driving in flood waters is dangerous and risky. Cars can be swept away in just a few centimetres of water. Drivers can become stranded with their car being rolled or engulfed in water.

3. Listen to weather warnings

Every river has its own unique flood stage. Every single time a warning is posted for floods, be prepared. Many people assume they are not in a location to be affected by a flood, but this is not true. Once a river reaches flood stage, the results can be disastrous.

4. Using electricity after a flood

Always remember that electrical lines and water do not mix. Standing in water and attempting to remove electrical wires is extremely dangerous. Also remember that even if you do not have power in some locations in your house, not all the lines could be dead.

5. Swimming in swollen rivers

The runoff of water from heavy rainfall not only causes erosion and takes away valuable soil from farming land, residential homes etc, but with the soil can come chemicals, fertilisers and other toxins the human body is not able to cope with. Eyes, ears and respiratory systems can easily be affected after a swim in dirty river water as it is impossible to know could also be in the water. As always avoid diving or jumping into any water you are unsure of the depth or hidden obstacles underneath.

6. Driving on Previously Flooded Roads and Bridges

Floods can damage roads and bridges. Unseen structural damage can mean it is not safe to drive on previously flooded roadways. Be sure that the area has been inspected by officials and approved for travel.

7. Boating in flood waters

Swollen rivers can carry dangerous debris in the form of dead logs, tree branches, weed masses, structures like fencing and wire which may have been caught up in the fast flowing water. Often though, the debris is sitting just below the surface or wedged right in the path of your oncoming boat! Normally you would be able to see the dangerous underlying log but the murky brown water we have after such a large amount of rain is impairing your vision - so take due care when boating, avoid areas close to shore where debris is most likely to get caught.

Common sense is the best rule to apply in situations like flooding, thunderstorms and natural disasters. Though the local rivers and estuaries are not flooding, the increased rainfall and big tides might lead to some flooding over roads this weekend. Fingers crossed that the rain subsides now some nice big juicy mangrove jacks and mudcrabs come out of hiding after a big flush out of the estuaries.




Noosa: Coral trout, sweetlip, Spanish and spotty mackerel up to 6kg from Sunshine reef. Good numbers of mangrove jacks, trevally and large flathead in Woods Bay. Large numbers of whiting in the Frying Pan on poppers during the outgoing tide. A few mud crabs in the upper reaches.

Maroochydore: Snapper, sweetlip and schoolie mackerel around the blinker. Large whiting and tarwhine from the mouth on the incoming tide. Flathead to 72cm from Chambers Island. Grunter bream and flathead on the Bli Bli flats. Plenty of  mud crabs from Bli Bli bridge and further upstream.

Kawana: Snapper, red throat, parrot and Dolphin fish from the Barwon Banks. Large numbers of bream throughout the river. Grunter bream from McKenzie’s bridge on high tide. Quality whiting, tarwhine and flathead along Kawana beach. Mangrove Jack and Mud crabs in the canals.

Caloundra: Sailfish and dolphin fish have been caught out past the 12 mile. Mangrove jacks and trevally in the Pelican waters canals. Good catches of whiting and flathead from Currimundi lakes. Whiting and a few flathead close to the bar on the incoming tide.



Matt caught and released this healthy grunter bream while fishing the Maroochy with Anglers Advantage fishing tours.




Jason Armstrong headed out to Mudjimba Island for a fish and was pleased with this grass sweetlip and 70cm flathead.



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