General News - November 2010
Catch and release fishing update - 26 November 2010
We have had a very busy week on the Kenyan Coast at Malindi with all boats out every day. The weather is still very hot and humid but we did have 10 mm of rain in the middle of the week, which cooled things down somewhat. The wind seems to have settled into the east which is good for the fishing. The Malindi bay was a light brown color this morning when I went to drop off the cold boxes. That is how it should be at this time of the year as the water coming down the Sabaki river is blown in.
The fishing is better than the week before with boats catching one or two sailfish on most days. There were quite a number of shark caught on the “banks” which is good and a few marlin as well.
On the 14th Neptune, Eclare and Snowgoose had one sailfish each as well as an assortment of smaller fish. Neptune, with Guy, Staf and Alfons all from Belgium fishing had fifteen yellowfinn tuna, a 17.5 kg wahoo and a big pick handle barracuda. Snark was fly fishing with Con Jooste and Hena Power and they went down to the banks to look for a wahoo. Unfortunately they didn’t get a wahoo on fly but they did get a nice 15 kg kingfish and a 22.5 kg yellowfin tuna conventionally.
On the 15th Neptune tried a bit of ‘’jigging’’ south of the boiling pot. They tagged and released four giant trevally around the 10 kgs each mark. Snark tagged a sailfish on fly for Con and Snowgoose had some fun off the Ngomeini rocks catching a load of barracuda and other bits and pieces.
The 16th was the first day of three for Thierry Van Eesbeck and members of a Belgium fishing club. They have been coming to Malindi for many years now, for their annual get away. The guys on Neptune had a good day with two sailfish and four wahoo whilst Tina ended up with one sail and Eclare an assortment of small fish. Malachite fishing with Philip and Nick Matthias had an action packed day fishing the Ngomeini rocks. They ended up with 14 barracuda and bits and pieces.
The 17th was a lucky day for part of the Van Eesbeck group on Eclare. They went down to the banks to look for shark and as they arrived they hooked a striped marlin in the shallows. It is very unusual to get stripies so close in but this season there have been three or four caught very close in. They successfully tagged and released the fish estimated at 50 kgs.
Every boat has its day and the 18th was definitely Snarks day. Fishing with Con and Hena on their last day of six, they tagged and released no less than four sailfish on fly and one conventionally. When you consider that quite a number of boats didn’t even see a sail one realizes what an effort it was. Two of the fish were part of a double header on fly. Neptune went down to the banks to look for shark and they were successful in tagging a tiger shark of approximately 200 kgs for Jan Maas. Ol-Jogi from Hemingways fishing in the Wild Fly tournament tagged a striped marlin on fly. There have not been to many marlin at all caught on fly so well done to them.
On the 19th Neptune had another shark, this time a bronze whaler of +\- 80 kgs. Tina released a good black tip of 120 + kgs and Snowgoose had two sailfish off Malindi.
On the 20th all the boats had good action. Eclare tagged and released a sailfish on fly after a long tussle. The fish was foul hooked and gave them a hard time. Snark released a black tip shark of 80+ kgs with Guy Raymacker on board and Tina had a sailfish and a few small fish.
Tomorrow sees the start of the BGFCD( Big game fishing club of Germany) tournament. Three of our boats are involved in this and the other two are fishing with anglers brought out here by Fishing and Adventures, a German travel company that is running the tournament. Eight teams will fish alternate days for four days each. At the end of the month things get a lot quieter for us and December is relatively relaxed. We will take all the boats out the water for a day to clean their ‘’bottoms’’ and apply a coat of anti fouling. It is also a chance for us to re gather ourselves and get ready for the high season starting in January.
That’s all for this week from Kingfisher.
Salaams to all,
Lion research in Kafue National Park - 5 November 2010
Trish Berry had the opportunity to take part in the darting of a lioness during October 2010. The lioness had a broken radio control collar which needed to be replaced.
Visitors to Kafue National Park are able to join in with the research programme during their visit to this remote park. The Kafue Lion Project managed by three organisations - Wilderness Trust, University of Cape Town and Panthera
The overall aim of the project is to establish a strategic management plan for lions in the greater Kafue National Park (KNP) system, including the surrounding Game Management Areas (GMAs), which would contribute towards a better understanding and the sustainable management of the lion populations of KNP and Zambia as a whole.
Researcher: Mr Neil Midlane
There is no doubt that lions are in trouble across their range in Africa, with studies estimating a drop in numbers from over 100 000 to possibly as low as 20 000 over the last 20 years. Due to its size and relatively low human population density, Zambia is a potential stronghold for the species, and the country's iconic Kafue National Park (KNP) is likely to be of vital strategic importance to the future of the species in the country.
Currently, however, very little is known about the size or status of the lion population in the KNP. The Kafue Lion Project (KLP) has therefore been established in order to determine the current status of the species in the Park, as well as the conservation threats facing lions in the greater Kafue system.
The KLP came about as a result of discussions between Wilderness Safaris, Panthera (a US-based NGO dedicated to wild cat conservation) and South Africa's University of Cape Town (UCT). These three organisations, with additional support from the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, approached the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in early 2010 with a proposal to establish a new project in line with ZAWA's Conservation Strategy and Action Plan for the African Lion in Zambia. The proposal was accepted by ZAWA, and the KLP officially began fieldwork on 1 July 2010.
The first phase of the project is aimed at generating baseline information on the status of the KNP's lion population. Various techniques are being used for this purpose, including call-up surveys, spoor count surveys and prey abundance counts. The sheer scale of the Park and the lack of road access make the completion of these surveys particularly challenging for the research team!
Once the initial surveys have been completed, the project will move on to investigate whether lion numbers in the park are stable, increasing or decreasing. Three core study areas, one in the Busanga Plains, one in the Lufupa Camp area, and one in a Game Management Area (GMA) adjacent to the KNP will be selected for this purpose. In these areas the researchers will deploy GPS and VHF collars on selected individual lions to enable intensive monitoring of a number of key prides and male coalitions.
Over time this will enable the team to determine whether lion numbers in the KNP are being limited by natural or anthropogenic factors. A major natural factor to consider will be the annual inundation of much of the KNP by the summer rains, while poaching and fires in the KNP, as well as trophy hunting in the adjacent GMAs will be among the anthropogenic causes of mortality investigated.
The overall objective of the project is to generate sufficient data to enable the KLP partners, along with ZAWA, to collaborate on producing a plan to ensure the long-term sustainable management of lions in the greater KNP system. With other lion populations in Zambia likely to face similar challenges to those in KNP, this plan will be a valuable contribution to the design of a countrywide Lion Management Strategy.
Lastly, as the KNP forms a major part of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, the Kafue Lion Project will make a significant contribution to ensuring the continued existence of this key species across a vast tract of prime African conservation land.