Friday, May 23, 2008

hunter gatherers

Spent another day by the river at Howlong so Ness could hone her fishing skills. The first mission was to use a lure to catch murray river cod but without success. In the afternoon a fisherman and 2 dogs crammed into a small boat appeared and put out 3 nets- within a couple of hours he was hauling in murray river crayfish so not to be outdone Ness put her net out as far into the river as possible by balancing along a fallen tree trunk.

The fisherman returned late at night to empty his nets and reset them, and this morning I saw him pull out 2 more crayfish. Unfortunately our net was empty this morning, which averted the awful dilemma of whether either of us has the stomach to boil one alive ( or the more practical issue of not having a pan anywhere near big enough) .

The bait net had some spooky large prawn things in it, and we were forced to google immature crayfish to ensure that we were not illegally removing juveniles. There is now another jar in the fridge of things I must remember not to eat.

This afternoon we moved down river and during a walk we were lucky enough to witness two azure kingfishers fishing, and saw one catch a sizable fish and struggle to consume it.

We are now on the banks of Lake Mulwala, a man made lake covering 6000 hectares ( one of the largest irrigation storage systems in the southern hemisphere ) . It is a strange and ghostly sight with flooded red gums as far as the eye can see.

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