Choking fish will be moved from Frogmore
MITCH Lester and his mates are about to launch a rescue mission of gigantic proportions.
Hundreds of barramundi, many large breeding females, are facing death in the drying Frogmore Lagoon, behind Rockhampton's Woolwash.
Mr Lester, a Rocky Barra Bounty champion angler, doesn't want to see a repeat of the massive fish kill at Marmor's 12-Mile Creek recently.
He said the water level at Frogmore, which is about 1km long, had dropped to about one metre in the deepest parts.
"It has dropped 1.7m in the last 12 months,'' he said.
Frogmore feeds into Gavial Creek (linked to the Fitzroy River) when it floods.
"The last time it flooded was February 2003,'' Mr Lester said.
He said at night, the oxygen levels at Frogmore were so low fish lined the shallows of the banks.
"There are hundreds of catfish on the edge with their mouths open and backs exposed, looking for oxygen.
"There are dozens of barra, some on their sides, others you can see their backs out of the water.
"I personally believe there are about 200 barra in there.''
Mr Lester landed a 110cm barra (about 17kg) on fly on Sunday, and believes there are many other large breeding females around that size in the drying lagoon.
It is on private property and he has obtained a salvage permit through the Department of Primary Industries.
The aim is to catch as many barra as possible using scoop nets, which are less stressful, and relocate them using vehicles with fish tanks, to nearby Yeppen Lagoon.
The first rescue attempt will start on Saturday.