YELLOWFISH WORKING GROUP - YWG December 2018 newsletter

Dear YWG supporter,

Herewith the last newsletter of 2018




Vanderkloof Dam: Experimental Fishery

This experimental fishery has come under harsh criticism in the flyfishing media recently. This is not surprising as this water is reckoned to be one of the strongholds of the largemouth yellowfish, and as such is on the bucket list of many a flyfisher. What we must accept is that this is a public water and recreational anglers can no longer have exclusive use of it and it must be shared with other communities. Apparently there have been inflammatory statements made about the experimental project by fellow anglers which is not helpful. However, we have reservations about this project, especially about the use of gill nets. And also if the project becomes a commercial enterprise whether it will be strictly policed.

Dr Aidan Wood has since 2015 represented SACRAA on the Advisory Group for this fishery and has kindly prepared an article on this controversial subject for the YWG. To read it click here.


A big thank you to Sundowner Adventures for the R2000,00 raised for the YWG at the 7th annual Kloofzicht event.

Mid Vaal crisis by Chris Williams (FOSAF Northern Region chairman).

FOSAF (Northern Region) in 2018 has conducted an intensive media/educational campaign (including a Carte Blanche interview) and has facilitated/attended many local Emfuleni Local Municipality, COGTA, Gauteng Province and DWS meetings. Pressure has been put right up to Presidential level.  FOSAF’s turning point was our frank and factual oral submission on behalf of the fly-fishing community to the SA Human Rights Commission at their September inquiry into the abuse of human rights over the lack of a clean environment. This was well-received and we have had several follow-up discussions with the HRC on the matter. Action was quick as a result of input by us and of others in particular of SAVE, of which the writer is committee member.  In October the Minister of Finance announced that on the President’s instruction the SANDF Engineers (‘Sappers’) were to be immediately deployed under the able leadership of Colonel Andries Mahapa. In November, the HRC held its second session in which ELM and other human rights offenders were interrogated. Suffice to say, this week the Mayor of Emfuleni has resigned. The SANDF are now acting on rehabilitating the two ‘hotspots’ on the Kliprivier and Rietspruit. The informative SAVE December Newsletter on their site is out this week and goes into more detail than this brief outline.

-        Please heed our previous recommendations in YWG reports on personal health and safety when fishing the mid Vaal in particular. Unfortunately, this is ongoing and should be part of your 2019 fishing routine. Cleaning of rods, reels and waders after each trip will protect both you and your next fishing venue. Please go to your local pharmacist and get their input in making up a basic mid Vaal River first aid kit (including latex gloves). Have you or any of your waters or friends actually taken us up on testing your stretch of river (see November YWG report)? If so, please let us know ( To date we have had nil response.  

-        As part of your 2019 routine please also keep heavy duty gloves and garbage bags with you on your trips and clean up existing rubbish wherever you can.

-        2019 – we are looking to expand our horizons to assist great people and teams like ARMOUR in helping clean up other Gauteng rivers and dams. We will use our mid Vaal ‘activism module’ as a blueprint springboard to put pressure on other pollution offenders, be they municipalities or private companies/individuals. We will also incorporate our Youth Education Programme into this in conjunction with our existing ecological/environmental network.           

-        Heartfelt thanks to our FOSAF Northern Region and National team, to my colleagues at SAVE and to all our network of individuals and passionate organisations who have provided information, support and friendship this year on the Mid-Vaal crisis.

Final Message

To all out there, have a safe and happy holiday with good fishing. Please join or re-subscribe to FOSAF, by clicking on ‘JOIN’ on our website – none of the above would have been possible this year without existing members’ support. We need YOU for 2019!

Kind regards,

Chris & Peter

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