Bass recaptured after 26 years!
ACCORDING to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) the Suntag fish tagging program has achieved a world record for the longest time spent at liberty for a tagged freshwater fish – 9,507 days.
The Australian bass was tagged 20 January 1994 in Reynolds Creek at a length of 26.5cm and was released for future recapture and monitoring. Last Sunday, the bass was recaptured in a castnet in Tingalpa Creek at 39cm, over 26 years later and some 190km from where it was tagged.
Roy Graham, the fisho who caught the world record breaking fish said “It wasn’t much of a haul - it was a surprising catch,”
“We were trying to get prawns so I got the fish in a castnet.”
The 190km journey saw the bass travel down Reynolds Creek to the Bremer River, where it made its way across the Brisbane River and eventually travelled south in Moreton Bay to Tingalpa Creek where it was recaptured.
“The fish was at the very top of Tingalpa Creek,” Graham said.
Remarkably, the fish escaped capture for 26 years in some of the most heavily fished waters in Queensland.
Having grown 13cm in 26 years, it is estimated that the bass grew half a centimetre each year.
The recapture breaks the previous record of just over 25 years held by a southern bluefin tuna and, though records of these types are difficult to ascertain, it is likely to be the longest time out for a tagged fish in the world.
“We’ve had six or seven fish recaptured 20 years after they’ve been tagged and this one is the longest,” Suntag Australia Manager Bill Sawynok said.
With over 30 years collecting fish data, the Suntag program has helped improve the knowledge and handling of many Australian fish species and has helped mitigate and monitor the potential threats fish face caused by environment change, development or harvesting practices.