Conservation

Objectives

  • The conservation of the Largemouth yellowfish which appears on the endangered list, as well as the Smallmouth Yellowfish
  • The organising of information days and clinics to promote the above
  • To encourage and enforce the catch and release of yellowfish
  • To have the catch and release principle enforced throughout the Vaal River system
  • To act in a consulting capacity in the planning of tourism activities where these may play a role in Yellowfish conservation

Founder members

  • Department of Environment and Tourism of the Free State and North West Provinces
  • The Windknot Fly-fishing Club
  • Heads and members of reserves and conservancies
  • Riparian owners
  • The Federation of South African Fly Fishers

Guidelines for Yellowfish conservation

  • Be on the lookout for water contamination and report this immediately to the Department of Environment and Tourism
  • Do not keep Yellowfish in a keep net for later release – they will not survive
  • Use only barbless hooks
  • Enjoy catching the fish, net it, remove the hook and release it again.
  • Explain the conservation concept to workers and encourage them to catch another species for their personal use
  • Yellowfish are very vulnerable when they gather in large numbers to spawn in shallow streams. During these times special attention should be paid to these areas in order to prevent disturbance.

Main characteristics of the two species of yellowfish

Largemouth yellowfish

  • A predatory species which specialises on live pray
  • Swims low in the water, looking upwards for potential pray
  • It has a powerful set of muscles in the shoulder area.
  • It has a wide, slightly flattened head with eyes that tilt slightly upwards.
  • If one views the fish from below their eyes are difficult to see.
  • The mouth opens forward.
  • Within the gillcovers it has a set of gillrakers for shedding prey.

Smallmouth Yellowfish

  • A more slender fish which eats booth live prey and algae
  • Tends to swim near the riverbed in search of prey
  • It also feeds on algae and detritus using a sucking/grazing method.
  • There is no pronounced hump in the shoulder area.
  • The head is more rounded with eyes tilted slightly downwards.
  • Eyes are clearly visible when the fish is viewed from below.
  • The mouth opens downward forming a siphon type of opening.
  • It does not have well developed gill rakers.