Friday, March 27, 2009

Forest Gardeners

I’ve been thinking that the developers at Ella Bay should perhaps think about advertising for a special type of gardener if their proposed 450 hectare urban development/resort actually gets approval from the Federal Government.

Their advertisement could go a bit like this:
Wanted: skilled rainforest seed collectors/planters/gardeners (at least 7 positions available)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ella Bay, Turtles and me

A few people have asked what got me interested in Ella Bay so I thought the blog is a great place to tell it!

I was at the Bramston Beach boat ramp last December putting the kayak on the car when my kayaking friend Tim Connolly paddled into the creek. After telling him about a cluster of marine turtle nests near Joyce Creek Tim suggested we visit Ella Bay as he had seen what he believed to be marine turtle sign on the beach there. I had never seen this place that everyone raves about so how could I refuse the invitation!

TALE field trip to Ella Bay

On Monday 16 March 2009 I had a very pleasant surprise visit from members of TALE (Tropical Aquatic Life Enthusiasts).

They had travelled from Cairns and were keen on a field trip to Ella Bay. TALE is a unique group as their members are not just interested in fish. Individual members specialise in aquatic vegetation, snails, turtles, invertebrates, reptiles and their President Mr Bob Kroll is even a butterfly expert.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dead Queensland Groper at Nind creek

I just received a email this morning from Ellie, the president of CAFNEC. This fish was about 10 km from the dead Ella Bay fish. It’s a different fish to mine (see this post) as this one had no spine.Ellie says:
We photographed this groper head in the Nind's creek - Johnstone River estuary on 17 December 2008. A fishing friend of ours also advises that when gropers are hooked and bought to the surface for release their air bladders tend to rupture and thus they cannot re-submerge even if successfully released, plus floating on the top of the water makes them prime targets for sharks and crocs. We suspect that's what happened to this one.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Frogs on the walls

These are some of the white lipped green tree frogs that live at our place. At night insects are attracted to the windows and our little green friends reap the harvest!
Because of the steepness of the wall they are also safe from snakes which is a double get to pick from the menu without becoming someone else's menu!

We give up on keeping these windows clean...would rather frogs than clean windows any day!

Large dead Queensland Groper

On Saturday 21 March 2009 Tim Connolly, Sara Dobson and myself went for a Kayak/walk at Ella Bay (North of the creek mouth) and we found the remains of a large Queensland Groper Epinephelus lanceolatus.
Here's photographs of this fish.
Its lower jaw had been damaged perhaps by someone removing a fish hook. It was concealed in the sand with only its head/spine visible.

Nearby at the creek/lagoon there was sign of recent fishing activity however this is not relevant as the carcass is well over a week old. As you are aware this species is a no take protected marine species so its death could be of interest to you and that is the reason for this email.

I am also aware that Queensland Gropers have been dying in this region due to a bacterial infection so perhaps this may be the cause of death though this would not explain the damage to the fish’s lower jaw.

Here's a relevant article from the Cairns Post regarding this matter.
The death of any protected marine species is significant especially within such an environmentally sensitive area. I hope this information is of some use. If you require further details or higher resolution photographs please feel free to contact me.
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