The Golden window of opportunity seems to have flung open for local fishers,
with the population of big resident yellowbelly at Lake Burrendong bursting into spring action, with some trophy fish gracing anglers with their presence in recent weeks.
Shaking off the winter blues, massive pin headed Golden’s have been basking on the edges,
and also cruising the timber stands close to the edges as water temperatures start to climb.
Research articles as presented by Fishingworld state that spawning in golden perch is induced by significant rises in water level once the water temperature is over 20°C.
This usually means river dwelling fish are ready to spawn each year from spring throughout the summer months, provided flooding conditions are encountered.
Because of their need for this particular combination of conditions, golden perch do not usually spawn in impoundments.
During a flood, river dwelling adult fish migrate large distances upstream prior to spawning, a behaviour which compensates for the downstream dispersion of eggs and larvae with the current.
The species is highly fecund, with females producing up to 300,000 eggs per kg body weight.
If flooding does not occur during the spring and summer months, the appropriate spawning triggers aren’t received.
The adult fish then resorb their gonads and will not spawn until the next season.
The reasons why the fish spawn during floods is related to the need for an abundant food supply for their larvae and juveniles.
Flooding introduces nutrients accumulated on the flood plain into the water. Under normal conditions,
the nutrients and increasing water temperatures have a positive effect by triggering plankton blooms which provide the larvae and juveniles with food for survival and growth.
Because the life histories of golden perch and our other native fish are so closely adapted to the natural flooding processes of our inland rivers,
their spawning and recruitment are adversely affected by river regulation and manmade features such as locks and weirs.
These hinder spawning migrations and reduce flood flows, while levee banks reduce the area of floodplain available for juvenile fish nursery areas.
If you or any of your fishing loving friends or family catch a nice yellowbelly,
Be sure to drop Dubbo Catches a line with a story and photo!