News that Bundaleer Reservoir has been re-stocked with native fish fingerlings has been welcomed by the Thomas family of Gulnare.
The family has embraced the opportunity to fish in their ‘own backyard’, with David Thomas and his sons Josh, 8, and Liam, 6, making it a regular family outing.
“My kids hadn’t done much fishing in the past, but Bundaleer is right there, it’s safe too – I guess everywhere is as safe as you make it, but there are no waves – the overheads are pretty low, you don’t need a boat,” David said.
“It’s a good family spot to be out in the sun and in nature, and when your kid catches his first fish, the smile on his face is priceless.”
While some fish caught at the reservoir can be kept (check reservoirs.sa.gov.au for full details) Mr Thomas said the family was happy to ‘catch and release’ their fish and had been successful in catching silver perch at Bundaleer.
“Some people have been getting golden perch or callop and the odd Murray Cod has been caught there,” he said.
“That’s our ultimate challenge, to see which one of us can catch our first Murray Cod.”
Young Josh and Liam have even been inspired by their new-found hobby to test out their entrepreneurial skills, establishing a worm farm and selling live worms as fishing bait.
Mr Thomas said the opening of Bundaleer Reservoir for recreational purposes had flow-on benefits to the whole community.
“It’s awesome to see the reservoir being used by locals and many families visit either just for a walk around the walking tracks or a fish,” he said.
“The Gulnare Community Development Board has set up a camping site for fishers and others that has been very well received by those from further afield.
“Some of the visitors who have camped at Gulnare for the purpose of fishing the reservoir have come from places like Naracoorte, Mount Gambier and Renmark.
“It’s great to see these visitors come to our region and the fishing helps put us on the map.”