At the recent 2010 Barra Bash, 447 tilapia were weighed in, which was more that 4 times the number of sooty grunter caught. There are two species of tilapia in the lake and both are in plague proportions. The darker one, Oreochromis mossambicus, is growing to monstrous proportions, with some approaching 60cm and several kgs. Obviously this species has not yet reached its full population potential, because it is definitely not stunting. Yet they are everywhere and when fishing with worms or prawns for mouth almighty, the main catch is tilapia and also the spotted tilapia, Tilapia mariae.
I definitely believe both tilapia species are displacing the mouth almighty in the dam. It is becoming increasingly difficult to catch mouth almighty by line. Many barra anglers who use mouth almighty for live bait have resorted to spotlighting at night along the water’s edge and scooping mouth almighty up in a net.
What are your experiences with tilapia? Do you think they are affecting the fishery?