Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Fishermen on the Coorong

Coorong mullet fishermen
In October 2011 when we were wandering up and down a section of the Coorong, we met a pair of mullet fishermen heading out for the afternoon catch.

The Coorong is a strip of tidal water separated from the ocean by the Younghusband Peninsula.  It forms part of the River Murray mouth, isolated from the river itself by a series of barrages designed to stop salt water infiltration of the Lower Lakes and the Murray River and to regulate the levels in the lakes.

It was pretty obvious where they were, not because of the boat or the old shack they were working out of but because of the large flock of pelicans that were hanging around.

Pelicans seeing the fisherman off, Coorong SA
When they land their catch the pelicans have worked out that there's a free feed for them as the fishermen clean their nets and the rest of their gear.

These two guys were Coorong regulars having fished here for over over 40 years.  They told us about the snakes they have encountered, about one guy who had a Tiger Snake crawl up the inside of one leg of his waders and then back down the other.  I don't know if he was telling us a fisherman's tale or telling a true story, either way we were laughing our heads off.

They did keep the grass around the shack and their gear good and short, not just for neatness but also to reduce the hiding spots for the snakes.

The Coorong is an awesome place, significant in Aboriginal Culture, the setting for the Australian novel Stormboy and well worth a visit when you're in South Australia.