YSHS Farm Visit

Aprils Meeting

A special thanks to Charlie Platt’s for his guided tour of the YSHS training farm and aquaculture facility during april’s L2L meeting. The tour was highly informative and excited the imaginations of a lot of people. It certainly encouraged me to get working on patching up my old water tank so I can add some redclaw once the cold weather passes.

Charlie gave us a close up look of the the Redclaw growing operation and provided a lot of useful tips. 

I am currently looking out for where I can acquire some breeding stock of the Walkamin strain of redclaw that the CSIRO has developed through cross breeding trials. They apparently grow at a considerably faster rate then the standard varieties. 

We were shown how to separate the sexes and grade them for breeding. The female redclaw in berry are removed from the main tanks and placed in a small nursery tank that has a fine grill in it. When the young hatch out they fall through the grill so that the mother can't harm or eat the young. After all of the eggs are hatch the female redclaw is returned to the main tank until she goes into berry again.
The other main aquatic species that were grown out at YSHS is barramundi. 

These are a difficult fish to keep here as the water needs to be heated during winter to keep them alive. 

The school was using a spa heater for this purpose and had two separate tanks for growing out the Barra. 

One tank had a display population of large barramundi between 2 and 3 years old and another tank contained a large population of smaller fingerlings. 

The water is being recirculated through a commercial bio-filtration unit which removes the ammonia and contaminates before returning it to the fish tanks.

The fish had a large range to swim through but would school up and bubble the water at the slightest offering of food. 

Charlie also demonstrated the Barra's aggressive feeding action by dangling some pilchards into the adult barra's tank for some explosive entertainment.

We had a tour of the rest of the farm including the newly born piglets, chickens and other poultry, cattle and miniature horses.

There were also several bee hives on the property which produce honey for the school community.

A call is going out to anyone interested in hosting the next meeting on Sunday 20th of May at 10am. We are no longer going to worry  about alternating the locations between Yeppoon and Rockhampton but will just move around where ever someone has something that they would like to share with the rest of the group

Greg Rutter

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