By Jen Gourley
Lake Callide was the place to be this morning as dozens of local children converged at the boat ramp for the Callide Valley Native Fish Stocking Association’s (CVNFSA) fingerling release.
With blue skies and a gentle breeze, the conditions were perfect for introducing 60,000 baby barramundi to their new aquatic home.
After lining up with their buckets, happy kids took their fishy friends down to the water’s edge before tipping them into the dam.
Kris Lassig, CVNFSA’s Publicity Officer, was pleased with how the morning went. “It’s a good turnout with lots of kids and plenty of buckets to go around,” he said. “It’s good to see the kids enjoy themselves letting little baby barra go.”
The fingerlings came from Redgate Fish Farm near Murgon and some will one day become the mighty barra that draw anglers from all over Australia to Lake Callide.
The purchase of the fingerlings is funding by the CVNFSA’s annual fishing competition, as well as money from the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme.
“If you buy a permit to fish in the dam, all the money goes back into putting stock back into the dam again,” Kris said.
Eager little fingers attached to curious kids were able to feel the wriggly little barra babies in their buckets, and there was even a tank set up where children could have a closer look at the fish.
Gumboots squelched on the shoreline and a few kids even released themselves into the water for a quick swim once they had said farewell to their fishy friends.
On a side note, there was a celebrity canine among the onlookers at this morning’s fingerling release, with Cookie from Cairns visiting with her family. Cookie won a cutest dog competition in Cairns and it’s not hard to see why!