Home » Lure of competition has environmental angle

Lure of competition has environmental angle

Daniel Bouwmeester    February 2, 2023    4 min read   
The collective haul of pest species Tilapia from Spring Lake during Charlton’s Fishing Classic 2022. Images: Brisbane Valley Anglers Fishstocking Association (BVA).

Last month saw the return of a true ‘classic’ in Springfield’s annual sporting calendar, and one with an environmental benefit to boot: the Charlton’s Fishing Springfield Lakes Pest Fishing Classic.

On Sunday, December 4, locals from near and far came down to Spring Lake, the major lake in Springfield Lakes, not just in the spirit of healthy competition but also to help reduce the number of invasive species of fish that are detrimental to the region’s biodiversity.

Organised by fishing school and event management group 2 Bent Rods, all proceeds from the day minus costs went toward restocking native species in the lake, which are individually tagged.

Before the event, registered participants were briefed on the relevant pest species and correct disposal methods.

Competitors then had five hours to catch as many fish and aim for the biggest ones for the 1pm weigh-in.

“160 kg of noxious fish, mostly Tilapia, were removed from the lake during the event,” a spokesperson from Brisbane Valley Anglers (BVA) Fishstocking Association said.

In addition, 132 large native Australian Bass were tagged and released back to the lake, with scores of undersized fish also caught and let go.

“As a result of the competition proceeds, on the Tuesday morning following the event, about 1,150 Mary River Cod fingerlings were released into Spring Lake.”

Megan Brown and daughter Sarah from Harrisville, deep in the Scenic Rim, make a point of coming up each year to take part.

“It’s a fabulous event for families. [Sarah] first started doing the Springfield competition at age 5 – she is now 9,” Megan said.

“Sam and the crew at 2 Bent Rods always make sure the kids get plenty of goods to end the day!”

Right: 9-year-old participant Sarah Brown with an impressive catch. Left: Not much has changed since her first Classic four years ago. Images: Megan Brown.

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic had some success at what she considers one of her “all time favourite local events”.

“I finally caught a baby native this year, thanks to some fabulous tuition. He was tagged and put back. I might catch him again next year and see just how much he’s grown!” she said.

“The hardest part was getting that wriggly little worm on the hook.”

The event was co-organised by BVA and the Freshwater Fishing & Stocking Association Queensland (FFSAQ), with permits managed via Biosecurity Queensland under the QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Sponsored by Charlton’s Fishing, Shrimplovers, and pest fishing group Tilapia Mafia, the event was jointly funded by the Council and Lendlease through its Springfield Rise Community Grants Program. Providing food and drink on the day were the Springfield Scout Group who ran its sausage sizzle fundraiser, and the Ipswich Cadets Parents Support Group offering cool refreshments.

Images: Cr Nicole Jonic.

“We can’t praise Craig from Charlton’s Fishing highly enough. His support of the event is truly appreciated not only by us but the entrants as well,” the people from 2 Bent Rods said on social media.

“Thank you to everyone who entered, and especially the families. It’s great to see all the kids being involved.”

Pending approval, BVA intends to co-organise a smaller event at Spring Lake on Sunday, April 16. Furthermore, the 2023 Charlton’s Fishing Classic is likely to expand into a wider fishing area to accommodate a higher turnout, BVA announced.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fishing in Springfield Lakes is only permitted on regulated fishing education days. Fishing is NOT permitted at any other time.

Spring Lake Park is under the management of Ipswich City Council – for all park permit enquiries call 3810 6666. The lake within Spring Lake Park is under the management of Lend Lease – for any enquiries regarding use of the lake call 3280 2222.

Check out some of the photos from the event below.

Images: Charis Mullen MP.
Images: BVA / Charlton’s Fishing Classic.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.