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Gone Fishing

I am going to take some time out from this blog to try and complete a couple of projects that I’ve started, but am having trouble finishing. So there may be no new posts here for a while.

In the meantime you can subscribe for my irregular email updates here:

And check the ‘Community Home’ page for updates from other readers with their nature photographs and more here:

And here’s a picture I took of a fisher, a darter cormorant, in Kakadu National Park a few years ago.

Interestingly according to one account of life in the Lower Murray in South Australia one hundred years ago there was a bounty on cormorants (that are closely related to darters), with 34,000 taken in one year ostensibly because they ate too many fish [1].

[1] Travels in Australasia, by Wandandian see page 301

26th July 1909 at Caurnamont, near Mannum

‘Birds were very scarce, though we saw one fine old spoonbill wading round the swamp and swinging his head from side to side in the peculiar fashion these birds have while feeding.

On the latter day, while out shooting, I picked up a freshly decapitated turtle of the kind called by the natives “emys,” and on meeting a fisherman enquired of him whether he had caught many, and why it was without a head.

He replied that the turtles were so destructive of fish spawn, that a scalp fee of one penny was paid on the head of each by the Government, and that he caught a good many from time to time.

On further enquiry, I found that in the past year the South Australian Government had paid over £600 in scalping fees to various people for 116,000 turtles and 34,000 cormorants, thus satisfactorily explaining why the cormorants are so shy, and look upon every man with suspicion; for when one contemplates what a hunting they must have in the course of the year to furnish such an enormous “bag,” it would be decidedly strange if they were at all otherwise. In spite of all this I saw hundreds of them on the Murray and lake waters, so that I am sure many must pour in from outside to take the place of those that are shot, and should this be the case it will be many years before their numbers are at all reduced, or the Government get anything like the full value for their money, or even justify its expenditure.’

[Back then Murray cod were plentiful despite the turtles and the cormorant though now there are no Murray cod in that stretch of river below Lock 1.]


3,962 Responses to “Gone Fishing”

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  1. Comment from: Pat O'Connor

    Hi Jennifer,
    I think I am correct in saying that the “cormorant” is in fact a darter – related to the cormorants, but not the same.

  2. Comment from: jennifer

    Thanks Pat. Correction made to text. Jen

  3. Comment from: Max

    Jennifer, I hope you enjoy the fishing and complete the projects that you are working on. Max

  4. Comment from: Luke

    How many 1000 comments did we get the thread to last time this happened?

  5. Comment from: cohenite

    Well, you pick a topic luke; I see Manne has been making a fool of himself lately and the NZ NIWA case is at an interesting stage. There will be an article on Manne at OLO tommorrow and Jo is puting up something about NIWA shortly. You can’t swear at either of those sites so feel free to express your frustration here.

  6. Comment from: Luke

    So political – so tedious – so how about ….

    Ocean Salinities Reveal Strong Global Water Cycle Intensification During 1950 to 2000

  7. Comment from: Robert

    Being the lazy blog-ranter that I am, mostly into sledging and rat-dirt, I only got as far as the abstract at the link.

    Ew. Talk about “so political” and “so tedious”.

    We get climate models spinning cheerfully with “fundamental thermodynamics”, we get future 2° to 3° warmer world (2 or 3, take your pick) – we even get a much-worse-than-we-thought scenario for the water cycle! That’s just the abstract!

    God’s truth. If civilisation doesn’t do something about Publish-or-Perish, there won’t be a bloody civilisation.

  8. Comment from: cohenite

    Ocean salinity; I saw the CSIRO PR release for luke’s linked paper some time ago; see:

    It didn’t make sense but I got side-tracked, probably by some other distraction thrown up by luke, and didn’t look at it in detail; Willis has done the job for me:

    All that money and resources and it’s still wall to wall crap.

  9. Comment from: gavin

    Maybe Jen has a project that can’t be finished, given her affair with the MDB bottom end.

    Offered to help by saying all us city folk depending on MDB catchment and health hold the biggest stick in the water carve up.

    Given common bird names, cormorant, darter, shag etc I consulted my “Field Guide to Australian Birds” by G Pizzey & F Knight.

    The darter is also known as the snake bird because of it’s neck and stiletto bill -1.2 m WS. The Great Cormorant our largest has a 1.5 m wing span. Little Black (cormorant or shag) 1m WS. Pied Cormorant (also yellow faced) hooked bill,1.5 m WS, MDB and other inland waters. Little Pied, smallest 90 cm WS and like the others is found just about everywhere round Aust. Black Faced (cormorant or shag) pied too and hard to pic in flight, 1 m WS, Bass Strait mostly.

    Note; plumage changes for all when breeding and some should be considered as SE Asian or Pacific birds.

  10. Comment from: Luke

    Cohenite anything from Wattsup is rat dirt and disinformation. Let’s not slum it with people who publish by press release. Hardly even a discussion of the paper.

  11. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Gavin, you city folk and the brainless, aimless, short-sighted,vote buying politicians who you control, are actually the biggest problem faced by the MDB.
    I suppose I should include the ABC there too.
    Glad I am not some aquatic species relying on your lot for survival.
    Wish I had the power you wield in the Bush ,to wield in your cities.
    ‘Emus for Emu Plains’ ‘Unyoke the Yarra’ ‘Free the Hawkesbury’ ‘Unbuckle Boundary Bend’ ‘Clear the meadows at Meadowbank ‘ ‘Return the ACT to its natural state , by making it a real National Park’

    Going to bed to dream about it all.

  12. Comment from: spangled drongo

    The CSIRO whackos claim:

    “These changes suggest that arid regions have become drier and high rainfall regions have become wetter in response to observed global warming,”

    Why don’t they just look in their own backyard.

    Since the great climate shift of the ’70s when AGW “started”, the red centre has become an oasis in comparison to earlier years.

    But what can you expect from Lukwitz who casts dumb aspersions at a top website.

  13. Comment from: Luke

    Stupid tool SD – 1950 to 2000 samples 3 IPO regimes. Just moronic level comments from a Wattsy burger disinformation devotee.

  14. Comment from: James Mayeau

    “Salinity shifts in the ocean confirm climate and the global water cycle have changed.”

    Salinity shifted? Which way? What we have is an unquantified proving an unquantifiable.
    I’ll go one further. Instead of CSIRO charging people do read that paper, they should be forced to send everyone who wasted time reading it a hard copy, to be used for toilet paper.

    Something else that should be understood, a change in salinity means a change in the seas natural buffering system. More salts run off from the dry land making the oceans more alkaline. So is the water cycle changing, or is the ocean acidifying. GOT TO CHOOSE ONE. Can’t have it both ways.

  15. Comment from: John Sayers

    “Here comes the sun: chilling verdict on a climate going to extremes”

    by James Hansen.

  16. Comment from: Rob H

    Of course the scientific consensus of the time supported culling the turtles and cormorants. And whales. And American buffalo. And just about any animal in Africa.

  17. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Lukwitz as usual thinks the real world is in the modelling. If he had actually tried to produce anything in the dry centre of this country or even been aware of the problem he would have seen the big improvement since the ’70s.

    But I suppose when you worship warmist websites that only allow consensual opinions you get a little confused as to who are the real deniers.

  18. Comment from: spangled drongo

    In the meantime Campbell Newman gets pilloried for trying to get on top of crazy Labor blowouts:

  19. Comment from: Neville

    Mother nature doing what she always does.

  20. Comment from: spangled drongo


    Another take on those Hansen rants:

  21. Comment from: spangled drongo

    But Wattsup does it better:

  22. Comment from: Neville

    Spangled you have to laugh. All Hansen has done is to compare the biggest cool phase of the PDO 1945 to ’76 to the recent warm phase. But we’re lucky that we didn’t live in the earlier periods over the last 1000 years.

    At that time the climate was so extreme that hundreds of years of cool and warm phases of the PDO are noted. This according to NOAA’s reconstruction.
    Thus the USA mega droughts that are well documented. Of course no fossil fuel burning humans to be seem anywhere.

  23. Comment from: John Sayers

    Neville – I’m not sure why they are surprised with the volcanic activity. The area is always active, I remember Mount Ngauruhoe erupting in the early 50s as I used to ski on Mount Ruapehu whilst Ngauruhoe was smoking away. White island has always been active.

    SD – the solar panel rebate scheme is a disaster – the rest of us are paying for these wankers to have solar panels that contribute sweet FA to the power generation of each State.

  24. Comment from: Neville

    Yes John and ditto for wind turbines. Just another super wank.

  25. Comment from: Neville

    Here’s NOAA’s graph for the last 1000 years of the PDO.

    Note our last big cool phase at extreme right, 1945 to ’76.

  26. Comment from: spangled drongo

    John and Neville,

    This latest NZ eruption should provive endless opportunity for more modelling, assumption and ADJUSTMENT of the Kiwi warming. I just hope Allah is not giving nuts to the toothless here:

  27. Comment from: Neville

    Countless billions $ to be wasted every year to meet the clueless Gillard govt’s 160 million tonne savings in co2 emissions by 2020.

    Won’t change the temp or climate by a whisker, so why are these idiots doing it? They’ve proved they couldn’t care less about world co2 emissions, so why ?

  28. Comment from: Neville

    Countless billions $ to be wasted every year to meet the clueless Gillard govt’s 160 million tonne savings in co2 emissions by 2020.

    Won’t change the temp or climate by a whisker, so why are these idiots doing it? They’ve proved they couldn’t care less about world co2 emissions, so why ?

  29. Comment from: spangled drongo

    It’s all Campbell Newman’s fault.

    How feverish have ya gotta be?

    How can the MSM continue to report this govt doings without ROFL?

  30. Comment from: Neville

    There are probably many people who haven’t seen this transcript of Bolt’s very revealing interview with GAIA brain Flannery in March 2011.

    Remember this bloke is the Gillard govt’s number one spokesman on AGW. He is afterall the Chief CC Commissioner and as such has to explain the mitigation of AGW to the Australia people.

    But here he admits that mitigation of AGW is a total fraud and con, in fact he states that even if the whole world stops emitting co2 today we would not see a change in the climate or temp for hundreds of years or PERHAPS A THOUSAND YEARS.

    Don’t forget only a few numbskull countries are introducing co2 taxes and the really big emitters are increasing co2 at an amazing rate.

  31. Comment from: gavin

    Guys; there is a more important development being reported and it’s about Tony Bourke and our State Ministers moving on the recently revised MDB Plan.

    Radio National had this interview today -

    I’m waiting for Deb’s next comment

  32. Comment from: Ian Thomson

    Hi Gavin,
    Think it means the State Govts have sold us out. Do not see one word in there about fixing the SA toilet blockage and giving them proper water.
    Just a lot of the usual political waffle. I think the useless NSW govt has just caved in .

  33. Comment from: spangled drongo

    What’s the bet that these blokes would be climate sceptics?

  34. Comment from: Debbie

    Nothing to comment on Gavin,
    It’s just more of his continuous clueless waffle.
    I’m hoping you’re wrong Ian but I fear yoh may be right.
    I don’t think it’s the actual govt, I think it’s more likely the people and the mindset they have inherited from the previous mess.
    They could possibly learn some lessons from their QLD counter parts.
    Not much ‘possibility thinking’ coming from our mob.
    I was thinking yesterday that humans can be so technically amazing that we can set a goal like landing a craft like ‘curiosity’ on Mars, but refuse to look at technical solutions or set some achievable goals for our water woes.
    Go figure?

  35. Comment from: bazza

    Nev, what Flannery said was “If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years. ” What you said was “we would not see a change in the climate or temp “. You could at least quote correctly – why did you misquote?

  36. Comment from: Minister for Truth

    Re Debbies reference to Curiosity

    I find it amazing that after spending $2.5bn, and the development of some of the most complex technology and systems ever, in order to land a car sized contraption, with a bloody great thump on MARS, they still cant answer that most basic of questions.

    ….Is the cat dead?

    Now I know that ever present Lukey dude, will probably say that we will not know until a Peer Reviewed paper appears in some highly credible journal. And one that he and his fellow nobs approve of,(and only after suitable white anting of any rival evidence….said to be in prepration for submission by the nearby University of East Mars, Faculty of Marscats Preservation Division,

    So I guess the question will forever remain unanswered.

    OTOH if they had installed the standard Dead Cat Smellometer(DCS) on one leg of the lander that some have been calling for (funds permitting), and which was to have been automatically applied to all climate science AGW papers… then we would know by now.

    Putting that aside, what a stunning achievement for properly conducted science and project management.

    ..and what an absolute embarrassment Hansen must be to NASA now.

  37. Comment from: gavin

    Have to disagree Deb, minister Bourke holds the key despite all those state based groups. There is a parallel with our Fed – State education situation where fresh common standards are being applied.

    For those truly interested, I see our ABC has the best rundown

  38. Comment from: Minister for Truth

    “I just hope Allah is not giving nuts to the toothless here:” says the Spangled one.

    Well he wouldnt be doing that during day light hours at the moment, as its rammadammadan.

    ….followed in few weeks time by a giant sized pig out….teeth or no teeth.

  39. Comment from: Luke

    Of course landing a rover on Mars is a much simpler question. You can solid engineer many of the variables (to an extent). And you don’t have sceptic nong nongs and tea party tribalists saying Mars doesn’t exist or maybe the atmosphere is made of strawberry jelly.

    Minister for Truth thingy obviously has no idea of the depth and breadth of climate science literature. Sigh ….

  40. Comment from: spangled drongo


    On the one hand you have the toothless but nut-endowed, on the other you have the toothy but nutless.

    The latter are the ones who think they can “solid engineer” our energy systems based on half-baked renewables and GCM predictions.

    This has the added advantage of extracting nuts from the nut-endowed via a nutty govt.

  41. Comment from: spangled drongo

    I should have added that the toothy nutless have become so successfull at this “solid engineering” that we now are seeing increasing signs of toothless nutless, the toothy getting nuttier and the govt fast running out of nuts and needing more gifts from Allah.

    It is said that they may arrive by boat but we shouldn’t look them in the mouth.

  42. Comment from: spangled drongo

    I suppose it boils down to whether you prefer a tooth fairy or a nut fairy:

  43. Comment from: Minister for Truth

    “Minister for Truth thingy obviously has no idea of the depth and breadth of climate science literature. Sigh ….”

    May be not, but one can smell dead rats, and even dead cats, a mile off, and the blatant activism by these so called authers of the deep science, eg Hansen et al, together with the incompetence and misrepresentation undertaken by the alarmanistas in general, doesnt need a Phd to flush out and expose…just common sense …a commodity in short supply with you types.

    I mean for gods sake, they…the creators of all this science at depth that you wank on about cant even manage/organise/normalise temperature records in a credible and defendable way….and its fundamental to the case…or I would have thought it was.

    As for the AAS boys club granting Flannery a Fellowship with his track record for unfounded made up alarmist b/s, based upon your self same science at depth… it just beggars belief.

    WTF do you people take us for.?

  44. Comment from: cohenite

    Don’t worry lads; it’s all baout the “ordinary people” vs the “elites”, as manne says:

    Now, where does luke fit in; perhaps he is an ordinary elite.

  45. Comment from: Neville

    Bazza you’re correct I’ve made a mistake. He didn’t mention climate but said the temp was not likely to drop for PERHAPS a 1000 years.

    From my angle I’m not saying his prediction is worth a row of beans, but he is the govt’s top appointed spokesman on AGW.
    Just proves the quality of ratbag we have hawking this silly message around OZ. I just wish every aussie knew that he thinks their efforts won’t make a scrap of difference to temp for a thousand years.

    Just to remind ourselves he based his forecast on every country ceasing emissions today and this isn’t happening.
    In fact non OECD emissions are soaring and therefore his prediction is a sick joke.

  46. Comment from: bazza

    Nev, you got it wrong again.It cant be coincidence.
    Why do you keep on distorting?
    You claimed “he thinks their efforts won’t make a scrap of difference to temp for a thousand years”.
    He said nothing of the kind,Who is the ratbag now – ?.

  47. Comment from: spangled drongo

    Did you hear the one about leading scientist, geophysicist and climategate investigator being interviewed by Auntie ABC with the usual kid gloves and Dorothy Dixers this morning?

    In reply to a sceptic tweet Auntie comfortably reassured us that Lord Oxburgh was a true member of the House of Lords and a thoroughly consensual scientist.

  48. Comment from: Neville

    Bazza he said if the whole world stopped emitting co2 we wouldn’t see a drop in temp for perhaps a 1000 years.

    But most of the big emitters are powering on, so simple maths tells us it won’t make a scrap of difference.

    If he claims that the whole world must stop emitting to produce his prediction, then the current state of affairs means he must know it won’t make a scrap of difference.

    Simple logic and reason Bazza, so what don’t you understand about it?

  49. Comment from: Neville

    Let’s hope this story about the AWU scandal may be true, even if it may be coming from a different direction. I hope it blows and keeps blowing hard.

  50. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    “Simple logic and reason Bazza, so what don’t you understand about it?”

    Since it’s bazza you are asking, I’d say it would be this Simple logic and reason

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