The Beaudesert Chamber of Commerce has supported restoring balance to local waterways via a $1000 donation to the Logan and Albert Fish Management Association (LAFMA).
LAFMA Secretary Lloyd Willmann used his spot as guest speaker at the Chamber’s September meeting to seek support from Beaudesert’s business community to stock local waterways with native fish to replace noxious carp and tilapia.
Photos from Chamber of Commerce meeting at end of story.
He said the volunteer organisation had restocked local waterways with nearly half a million dollars’ worth of native fingerlings since the late 90s, and every dollar helped.
LAFMA, previously known as Carpbusters, was started by a small group of concerned anglers in the Beaudesert and Rathdowney area to remove pest species from the Logan and Albert River system and replace them with native fish.
In the decades since, LAFMA has continued to do that work, with a focus on creating a recreational fishery for the Logan and Albert Rivers including Wyaralong Dam by stocking native species, Mary River Cod and Australian Bass.
Mr Willmann said carp eradication competitions only removed a small percentage of noxious fish from waterways but helped raise money and much-needed awareness.
“Everyone knows what a cane toad or rabbit is, but people say, ‘what’s tilapia?’” he said.
“Tilapia is worse than the cane toad or rabbit problem, and there are concerns they’ll end up in the Murray Darling Basin and then the Mary River Cod will be gone.”
He said noxious fish were prevalent at Wyaralong, with reports of specimens as big as 50cm and as heavy as 7.5kg, causing significant habitat degradation for native species.
Mr Willmann said LAFMA released $25,000 of native fish fingerlings in Wyaralong alone each year and was always looking for new sponsors.
In discussing the economic benefits of supporting LAFMA’s efforts, Chamber President David Kassulke recalled how the first carp eradication competition brought 3000 anglers to Beaudesert and the town sold out of bread.
To help raise awareness and funds, LAFMA will host its annual Wyaralong Dam Carp/ Tilapia Eradication Competition on 29 October. Registration will open from 5.30am and costs $20 for adults, $5 for teenagers. Children under 12 get in free.
For more information visit LAFMA.org