YELLOWFISH WORKING GROUP - YWG March Newsletter

Dear YWG member,

Here is the news for the month -

 

News from the mid Vaal area. (contributed by Chris Williams)

SAVE (Save The Vaal Environment) is hosting the annual ‘Wine Under The Willows’ wine tasting on the afternoon Saturday 24 March 1300 onwards. It will be a great day and ALL proceeds go towards ensuring National and Provincial Government take action against pollution of the Vaal River and environs.  SAVE’s recent legal success is testimony to their hitting at the highest level. For more information please contact Chris Williams ‘chris@williamsandwilliams.co.za’.

The Mbeki sewage pump station near Parys has broken down and as a result raw sewage is being decanted into the Vaal. In addition the illegal/unlicenced adjacent landfill sites nearby means that this contamination enters the Oudewerfspruit and filters down into the main Vaal River just above the Parys works intake. The YWG and local interested/affected parties are taking action against this.

Yet another ‘mining prospector’ is threatening the Vaal River environment. Goosebay Farm (Bpk.), owned by a Mark van Wyk, has applied to mine 34 types of minerals in the mid Vaal area, but due to Goosebay Farm’s incorrect bid documents the Vaaloewer Ratepayers Association/Protect Vaal Eden have managed to delay van Wyk’s applications. Goosebay Farm has refused to divulge any information of their intent and they have indicated to interested/affected parties they must simply go the legal route.

In these turbulent times it is essential YOU join and support FOSAF/YWG to ensure we have any quality of fish and water for the future to ensure fly fishing for ourselves and our children.

News from the Western Cape (contributed by Dean Impson)

The south-western Cape is experiencing its worst drought in living memory with dams supplying Cape Town and surrounding areas at critically low levels (e.g. Theewaterskloof Dam at 11%).  There is the very real risk of large-scale fish kills in these dams due to poor water quality in the next 2-3 months. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) approached CapeNature to allow emergency harvesting of fish to take place in four dams (Theewaterskloof, Voelvlei, Brandvlei, Kwaggaskloof) whilst the dams were very low.  The first two dams are dominated by invasive fishes (carp, catfish, bass) whilst the latter two have a very large Berg-Breede whitefish population that co-occur with carp, catfish and bass.

The emphasis of the emergency harvesting will be on carp and catfish. The plan taking shape will allow contractors to be appointed by DWS to ensure responsible harvesting of fish until the dams start filling again.  During this period, threatened Whitefish will also relocated from Brandvlei and Kaggaskloof dams to several dams in the natural catchment range of the species to establish further refuge stocks of this species.

Kind Regards,

Peter

 

 

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