ANGLERS fishing Lake Eucumbene in late October 2010 were pleased to see that the rising waters of the lake had created perfect spawning conditions for the frogs.
Frogs were in abundance and their future was assured through this massive spawning event, or so we thought.
By early November the water in the lake ceased rising and began to fall, yet the State was in flood and the rains continued, how could this be?
More importantly anglers watched as the frog spawn was left high and dry. The baby tadpoles yet to hatch suffered a miserable death by dehydration. Caring anglers scurried around the lake margin; lifting spawn blobs and putting them back into the water, only to see the whole miserable cycle continue as the waters relentlessly receded.
How many frog larvae died we will never know, but the receding waters killed far more frogs than any number of trout possibly could – even the deadly chytrid fungus would have been hard pressed to match this slaughter.
For the whole of November an early December the rains fell, the State flooded but Lake Eucumbene continued to fall.
My investigation of the matter indicated that at the same time there was a large and constant release of water from Khancoban Dam fed by water from Eucumbene, but Snowy Hydro certainly kept silent and no amount of trying could elicit an answer as to why water was being released into a flooded system.
So, once again anglers are up in arms over the unnecessary and brutal treatment of endangered frogs – we stand alone in this with no support from the Greens, the Government or any Bureaucratic Department.
Then I read Jennifer Marohasy’s blog.
I, on behalf of the dead frogs of Eucumbene congratulate her on her tenacity in getting to the bottom of this disaster.
It is not only the low-land farmers who have suffered.
The blinkered adherence to rules by the faceless bureaucracy has no respect for man nor beast – only words on paper – it is the contract that reigns supreme not us, not the environment.
This type of stupidity must stop, we must start to employ public servants who have brains, are able to rationalise their decisions and who are not afraid to bend a rule for the sake of others.
It will be interesting to see if the Government has the bottle to fix this situation, but somehow I doubt it. This Government has a great track record in shutting anglers out of areas because they think we are the bane of fish, but the same Government gives licence to wantonly kill threatened native species at will for the sake of an extra dollar.
Shame on Snowy Hydro and shame on this government.
Steve Samuels, President, Monaro Acclimatisation Society Inc