Native plants going in around the ponds these will attract insects and birds and in turn feed the fish. We purchased the plants from Pearson’s nursery at Allansford near Warrnambool the young lady that served us was very helpful and clearly new her plants we will do more with them in the future.

We had a early sneak peek at spring today and it was perfect for planting , up until now the ground has been far to wet.

It is worth remembering that animals do much better if they feel safe and comfortable they will breed a lot easier and be much better at the handling stages. This applies to all animals not just fish.


Pond no 2


You can also see the solar lights also for attracting insects to the waters edge for the fish to feed on, the grass has picked up its been slow because of the cold and wet overcast days, hopefully that’s behind us now we are moving into the windy part of the year, wind is our friend because it aerates the ponds and dams.


Tank 5

DSCF0852Tank no 5 is the ugly duckling of my tanks it has fantastic habitat its aerated in under trees produces good yabbies but the blackfish struggle I am going to re assign this tank for another purpose probably bait and plants to feed and seed the other four tanks and four ponds.

The pots contain Nardoo which is a native water weed famous for starving Burke and Wills to death, but it attracts insects and frogs which we already  have in abundance.

The Curdies in flood

I know that a lot of you fishers are aware of the great black bream fishing in the Curdies river around boggy creek and Peterborough however once you get away from the salt influence there is not much to fish for the odd eel redfin and even trout, it is my plan to change that I fully intend to have blackfish in place as soon as fisheries gives me the go ahead, I only live a mile from the river so as soon as I get fisheries here to inspect my setup and see the fish are healthy it could happen this breeding season and you can expect to be able to catch legal fish in this place in a few short years. I also must say that if you are coming down this way to fish or sightsee  you should take a drive through the Hatesbury settlement it features some of the prettiest land scapes in AUST not to mention the great dairy farming ,producing milk that goes to making  cheese yogurt and all manner of thins for AUST and for  export to the rest of the world.    DSCF0849The Curdies  valley looking southwest with a rain shower coming up the valley.

Barb Wire Canoe


Barb Wire Canoe

This is a photo of a corrugated tin boat, I took this photo in Perth at a maritime museum and it reminded me of when I was a boy growing up at Cooriemungle  where we had a barb wire canoe it  was  a little  different than this one it was tied together with barbed wire, needless to say we learnt to bale and swim at the same time, I know that the young today might think they are a myth but I kid you not we had one.


DSCF0842DSCF0841I was raised at Cooriemungle In the heart of the Hatesbury shire this small creek runs past the farm I grew up on, when the Hatesbury shire was first cleared to make way for farm land some of these small creeks were damaged now we can,t give back the farm land the world needs the food but we can undo some of the damage that was done to the small creeks that run through this area.

The Cooriemungle creeks ( there arms two arms of this creek ) need some money spent on them to deepen and replace habitat that was removed, remove willows trees where they exist and so on we all know the problems and even the answers we just need the motivation and some funding to allow these waterways to once again be great habitat for river Blackfish.

So again I ask the question why are there no river Blackfish in the Cooriemungle creek.

Its not like we can,t breed them.

Quarantine vat

DSCF0837.JPGI use this for  quarantine, when you bring fresh fish or live food onto the farm its a good idea to have somewhere that you can put them for a while to see if they are sound and don’t carry any disease , with blackfish it is pretty obvious  if things aren’t right however if I bring fresh yabbies onto the farm from a new source I will place them in here, its a good place if you have sick fish to isolate it from the others make sure you disinfect after the fish is gone, to disinfect I use sun light but if you are in a hurry wash with salt and rinse well and let stand in the sun for as long as possible. you can get old vats from farmers who have updated to bigger ones if you can find one, it is polite to offer some money even if they don’t ask remember to buy a dedicated trough would cost several hundred dollars.

Breeding boxes

DSCF0832DSCF0831DSCF0833Breeding boxes if you wish to breed blackfish you will need somewhere for the female to lay her eggs this should be some sort of hollow structure 90 mil plastic tubes do fine or hollow longs that you can get from suppliers or find yourself , I made mine out of 10 mil ply  simply nailed together no glue as you can see in the photos they are not very big about 600 long and about 90×90 inside I kept them small to suit the fish I had at the time if you have larger fish you should increase the size of the hollow. I used just normal ply not form ply in order to not introduce a foreign substance to the water normal ply is stuck together with latex adhesive which occurs naturally in nature. I should add that the box above is five years old and has been exposed to all kinds of weather.

When you place the boxes in the water take time to consider the depth, it has been my experience that  as the water table warms they tend to favour deeper boxes at the start  in the early spring shallower boxes so the best policy is to have boxes at varying depths not to deep, you can see the top of my first box in the water and my deepest would be no more than 1.3 metres.

Home sweet home

DSCF0829DSCF0830 habitat is vital for all native fish however blackfish are even more reliant on it they use it for homes ,shelter and nest  and place to ride out floods, what kind of habitat is best well when it comes to blackfish it doesn’t seem to matter, hollow logs like the ones above are perfect for larger fish how ever smaller fish would feel safer under it rather than in it this must be considered when placing habitat back into rivers and streams.

the location of habitat in rivers and streams is also important Australian rivers and stream dry up from time to time and this must be allowed for so some habitat must be relatively close to the surface and some must be placed in deeper water to accommodate fish when water levels drop.

In Australia all the rivers that run through farm land  are silted up and not as deep as they once where so it will be necessary to deepen some holes to allow for dryer times.

Raining worms

UPDATE: I would like to thank my daughter  son in-law and my wife for helping with this video.

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This is truly a great video these fish are feeding despite the very cold water, notice to that one fish has a white eye it could have been damaged when it was caught it is not holding it back, Notice also how they check out the food with there feelers and then back up and take the food.

It could be too that the lighter coloured fish are female