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Freshwater Fishing in Clanwilliam and Cederberg Wilderness

Fresh Water Fishing in the Cederberg WildernessThe Olifants River system has the richest endemic fish population in the country.  Endemic species like the Clanwilliam yellow fish, the “rooivlerkie”, Clanwilliam sand fish and Barnard’s “klipbaber” are only found here. However, the alien species like trout, carp, catfish and bass, as well as alien vegetation have put this ecosystem under great threat. Cape Nature is working hard at cleaning up the vegetation and has a pilot project aimed at eradicating the alien fish.

Anglers can in fact help, by removing foreign species like rainbow trout, carp, catfish and bass, and by using fish-friendly hooks, so that all indigenous fish can safely be returned to the system. A special request from CapeNature scientists is never to move fish from one spot to another. The reason is because in the case of the aliens, they are re-introduced into an area that could already have been cleaned up at great expense; or in the case of indigenous fish, it messes up the gene pool, so important to the survival of these species.

The river system is approximately 285 km long and the Clanwilliam and Bulshoek dams are situated on the river near Clanwilliam. These dams provide bass fishing while the local rivers are home to the indigenous species, which can only be caught on a catch and release basis. Most of the river areas are in private conservancies and the owners of each should be contacted for further information. Have a look at the Conservancy Website for the list of participating farms.

Permits can be obtained from any Cape Nature Conservation Office for fishing in the Cederberg Wilderness: Algeria 027 482 2403 or Porterville 022 931 2900.  For permits to fish on the Clanwilliam Dam, phone 027 482 8012, the Bulhoek Dam, 027 482 1487.

Phone Cape Nature, Jonkershoek Aquatic Fish Section 021 866 8000 for help on fishing in the Western Cape.

More info on the town of Clanwilliam More info on the Cederberg Region area

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