YELLOWFISH WORKING GROUP - YWG June 2018 newsletter

Dear YWG member,

Here is the news for the month of June.

 

News from the Western Cape.

Dean Impson of CapeNature has sent us the following report:

“The Rondegat River in the Cederberg mountains of the Western Cape continues to recover well after removal of smallmouth bass from 4km of the lower river in 2012 and 2013 by CapeNature.  Numbers of Clanwilliam yellowfish, which are endemic to the Olifants-Doring River System, continue to increase according to the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, which is leading the biological monitoring and research. Juvenile and sub-adult Clanwilliam yellowfish are now found throughout the 4km recovery area in good numbers. However, the severe recent drought in the south-western Cape has likely slowed recovery of the river, with rainfall in 2017 in the upper catchment about a third of normal.  

CapeNature in May 2018 also stocked 70 Berg-breede whitefish into a farm dam in a conservancy in the middle Berg River catchment.  These fish were sourced from Brandvlei Dam which has good numbers of whitefish, when the dam was about 5% of capacity. The farm dam was recently drained, and is free of invasive fishes, and the land-owners are keen to establish a refuge population of the Endangered whitefish.

Also, please take note of the new names for the three large cyprinid “yellowfish” species:

Clanwilliam yellowfish   Labeobarbus capensis     now Labeobarbus seeberi

Berg-Breede Whitefish  Barbus andrewi      now Cheilobarbus capensis

Clanwilliam sawfin     Barbus serra      now Cheilobarbus serra  “

News from KZN

The University of KwaZulu-Natal, Aquatic Research group, within the Centre for Water Resource Research (CWRR), to honour World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) co-hosted a high-school canoe race with St Anne’s Diocesan College on the 11 March. However, this race was no ordinary race it was an upstream paddle (or Reverse Duzi). Sticking with the theme of migrating yellowfish the paddlers had to paddle against the currents and over barriers often faced by fish that need to face these challenges to get to habitats suitable for biological and ecological functioning. The race found the paddlers, tackling rapids and getting stuck in them or floating downstream only to try again. The paddlers had it easy when they portaged around larger barriers such as Musson’s, FNB and Ernie Pearce Weirs, something fish are not able to do.

The whole event was filmed and presented to the world on World Fish Migration Day in Skukuza, KNP and launched online. The theme around the video was ‘Duzi Gold’ with yellowfish being equated to a living commodity as valuable as gold. Check out our video by searching for ‘Duzi Gold’ online to see the paddlers paddling upstream.

To read more about Duzi Gold Series visit “http://riversoflife.co.za/wfmd/duzi-gold-a-short-serie-to-celebrate-the-world-fish-migration-day/

 Regards,

Peter

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