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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Yellowfish 2

The Natal yellowfish occurs in Kwa-ZuluNatal, (the politically correct have saddled this poor fish with the longer name). Widespread distribution from the Mkhuze river in the north to the Umtamvuna river on the Eastern Cape border of Kwa-ZuluNatal.This fish has been translocated to the Save river in Zimbabwe. Natal yellowfish are not as threatened as other yellowfish and they are abundant in most KZN rivers.

South African angling record for this fish is 4,628kg, but the average size caught is 500gm to 2kg. Known locally as a scaley this fish is a fighter and will give you a good run for your money when hooked.

Clanwilliam yellowfish occur only in the Olifants river and its tributaries of the Western Cape, a very restricted distribution. The largest recorded weight of this fish is 10,66kg, the SA angling record is 5,679kg. This fish is becoming very rare and its conservation status is listed as vulnerable. You may not deliberately angle for these fish, if you do catch one you may not remove it from the water. Some claim that this is the most handsome of our yellowfishes.

Threats to this fish are habitat destruction and alien fish such as black bass. Two dams have been built on the Olifants river and farmers have built weirs across tributaries. These obstructions prevent the fish from migrating upstream to their normal spawning beds. Young yellowfish don't stand much of a chance against smallmouth black bass that were introduced in the 1930's.

Cape Nature Conservation are breeding these fish and placing them in their natural distribution area.

View across the Clanwilliam impoundment on the Olifants river, with the Cedarberg in the background.

Every year a bass fishing competition is held here. This competition is open to all and huge prizes, such as boats, trucks, etc., can be won.

Another yellowfish of the Olifants river system is the Clanwilliam sawfin. Largest size recorded is 7kg, the SA angling record 3.04kg.This fish is considered endangered.

Another yellowfish of the Western Cape is the Berg-Breede river whitefish. This fish occurs in the Berg and Breede river system. SA angling record 3.407kg. Conservation status of this fish is vulnerable.

One yellowfish of the Western Cape that I could not find any information on is the redfin, but I will keep looking.

The last two yellowfishes are the Bushveld smallscale yellowfish and the Lowveld largescale yellowfish.

The Bushveld smallscale yellowfish is found in the Bushveld regions of  north eastern South Africa above 600m altitude. The SA angling record for this fish is 6,18kg.

The Lowveld largescale yellowfish is found north eastern parts of South Africa and in Zimbawe below  600m
altitude. These fish are widely distributed from the central and lower Zambezi River in Zimbawe to the Phogolo river system in South Africa.The SA angling record 5,75kg.

All yellowfish are great angling fish and let you know that they won't surrender easily.

That's it on yellowfish. I have yellowfish photos of fish I caught at Sterkfontein dam on a computer at school, soon as school reopens next week I'll email to myself and post them on this blog.

Source: A complete guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa, by Paul Skelton, 2001.

When they say complete they mean complete, even minnows are included, from the Zambezi southwards.


Shoreman said...

Hi Phillip. For some reason, I'm a couple of days behind. I read your last posts and am enjoying the trip through the history of South Africa. Keep it coming.


Joyful said...

Lovely scenery.