YELLOWFISH CONSERVATION & RIVER ETHICS / ETIQUETTE
- a Quick Overview (Vaal River)

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YELLOWFISH CONSERVATION AND RIVER ETHICS & ETIQUETTE

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! (See bottom for contact details)

Please take time to study this info to make your time, and that of others sharing with you, on the river a more enjoyable one. Conservation is essential for the survival of our Yellowfish species.

1.     YELLOWFISH CONSERVATION – SUPPORT CATCH and RELEASE!

Our 2 major species found in the Vaal are Smallmouth and Largemouth Yellowfish. It also holds Moggel and Mudfish, which also plays a role in conservation. The smallmouth yellows are not as prolific in numbers as previous years, and the largemouth yellowfish is already on the threatened list. Please adhere to the following, to ensure these species will survive and provide sport for generations to come:

1.       ALWAYS practice catch-and-release with these species. This is essential.
2.       NEVER wade through very shallow gravel beds, these are the yellow’s spawning grounds, and you may destroy thousands of eggs. (Especially around Oct, Dec and Feb-March when they are spawning).
3.       NEVER cast to visibly spawning fish. (Fish thrashing in the shallows). It disturbs their spawning activity.
4.       ALWAYS handle the fish with care. This includes:
  1. NEVER hold the fish out of water for more than 30 seconds. Their gills become damaged.
  2. ALWAYS wet your hands before handling the fish. Support it under the head and tail, horizontally.
  3. Use good fine mesh nets, not coarse ones. DO NOT PUT FINGERS INTO A FISH’S GILLS!
  4. NEVER keep yellowfish in a keep-net, for later release. They WILL surely die later.
  5. Try to land the fish as quickly as possible. Then when releasing, make sure you face the fish upstream in slow moving water, reviving it. Let it regain its strength and breathing evenly, then let it swim off on its own.
  6. NEVER hold the fish vertical (i.e. with the head facing up towards the sky) as the fish’s internal organs are not developed to handle gravity and they may tear away and result in death.

2.     RIVER ETHICS AND ETIQUETTE

To make everyone on the river’s day more enjoyable, please adhere to the following simple ethics:

1.       Never enter a river directly in front of another angler. Give him a wide berth. There’s water for all. If you are unsure, ask the angler if you may fish the next section upstream of him.
2.       Cross the river behind another angler (downstream). He will be fishing the water upstream shortly, so rather don’t wade through the water he will be fishing shortly.
3.       TAKE ONLY PICTURES, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS, should be everyone’s motto.
4.       Respect the land-owner’s grounds and farms, and the water and it’s inhabitants.
5.       Respect your fellow angler! You’d like the same respect and courtesy shown to you, right?
6.       Do not pollute our waters.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR QUERIES, PLEASE CONTACT THE “YELLOWFISH WORKING GROUP” ON TEL: 083 457-7478 (Peter Arderne) or e-mail: mwardern@mweb.co.za  

Nature conservation: Gauteng 24hrs: 082-759-0078.  Free State: 051-447-0407.  (or your local Conservation Officer as follows:)

Free State Chief Law Officer - Nature Conservation: Werner Boing 083-400-6595     REPORT ANY MISCONDUCT!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND HELP IN CONSERVING OUR YELLOWFISH SPECIES.

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