Opthalmia Dam

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 11:16
ThreadID: 110936 Views:2570 Replies:1 FollowUps:12
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Hi,
Has anyone fished the Dam at Newman? Any relevant info would be appreciated.
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Reply By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 11:36

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 11:36
hi rodney
no didn't get to fish as we encounted a 2.2 mtr python at the end of the wall sunning himself he was huge he was stretched out like a small log
don't know if he's still there but he went down a cavity right at the end of the rock retainer wall/bank on the far side as you drive across the rear wall/bank
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Follow Up By: Member - Rodney J2 - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 11:52

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 11:52
Thanks for your reply, not what the wife wanted to hear! Will keep our eyes open
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 12:07

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 12:07
G'day mazcan and Rodney

Your reply to Rodney doesn't give any clew as to the time frame of your visit and the chance encounter with the Python, but seeing as you say "as you drive across the rear wall/bank" I am guessing it was a couple of years ago, seeing there is no longer public access across the dam wall.

The Ophthalmia Dam was near dry just 17 days ago, but the Fortescue River which feeds water into the impoundment is now running after the storms we have experienced over the last couple of weeks, there is a good chance the dam now has water in it.

As to catching fish in the Ophthalmia dam, yes there are small fish ~ possibly "yellow belly" but because the Swans, Pelicans and other bird life tend to use the dam as a breeding area, my guess there is enough fish life to sustain a healthy bird life.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 12:14

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 12:14
Forgot to add, every waterhole throughout the inland Pilbara has a resident Python, the largest I've seen was in the Butterfly Gorge pool ~ this magnificent creature was all of five metres in length and head on it as big as a mans hand.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 19:49

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 19:49
Ophthalmia Dam, Joe? Where'd the name come from?

Maybe someone had some eye problems there? :-)

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 20:06

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 20:06
Hi Bob I say it was named from the nearby range Ophthalmia Range.
This range named by E. Giles in May 1876.

Cheers
Alan

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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 20:10

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 20:10
So yes, it was Giles who had eye problems in the area, being blind for 7 days when passing by.


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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 20:34

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 20:34
Thanks Alan.

Had a similar symptom while on the Barkly Tablelands in mid '60's. Near blind for almost a week, with some relief with Terramycin cream.......I can feel for the late Mr Giles.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 21:01

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 21:01
Joe there is s type of fish some kind of perch right throughout the pilbarra they are to small to be worth catching but will appear as if by magic in a bucket of water if you leave it out for an hour ( ex a duration but you get the idea).
Ive seen them swimming up a bit of water getting pumped into a creek over about 20metres
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 00:13

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 00:13
G'day Everyone

The Ophthalmia dam has a direct link with it's name to the range of hills that Ernest Giles did not see as a result of suffering from the "Blight" on this Fifth inland expedition of 1876.

Ernest Giles admitted defeat on this expedition into what he later called the Ophthalmia Range as he was near blind from his Ophthalmic complaint ~ Sandy Bight, is a painful inflammation of the eyes, bought on by direct strong sunlight, dust and flies, we know it as conjunctivitis.

Out of curiosity I drove out to the Ophthalmia Dam this afternoon, it's "chocka block" with dirty red water. The Fortescue River is down to a mere trickle again.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: Member - Rodney J2 - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 06:58

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 06:58
Thanks to all for the interesting history lesson on the naming of the Ophthalmia Dam, I take it that it is not a great fishing spot?
Anywhere else around Newman say within 100klm that is worth fishing?
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 11:02

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 11:02
G'day Rodney J2

The Ophthalmia Dam is around 22 square Kilometes in size, of surface water and it's main purpose is to feed the impounded water back into the aquifers from where Newman's water supply is sourced.

I am not a water quality expert, but it only takes a light shower of rain to promote healthy vegetable and weed growth in the garden, town water just makes the soil wet and costs money.

I can't think of any "place" within 100kms of Newman that is worth fishing, although Carawine Gorge on the Oakover River is a beautiful place and the fishing is quite good if you like big fat Catfish, but Carawine is around 350k's to the east.

The Indian Ocean is a good fishing venue and only 450km's to the north west.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 11:35

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 11:35
as mentioned nearly all semi permanant water will have the perch I spoke of - Im not sure how big they grow but they probablly are mostly stunted due to thier massive overpopulating of whereever they go i would have said a 20cm one would be massive
then as Joe mentioned catfish are another common catch in more permanant water

anyway heres a pdf of possible catches - i wouldnt be expecting to have to call your mate to grab the Gaff --- but then is it really about catching anything anyway?

http://www.freshwaterfishgroup.com/resources/Pilbara%20fish%20poster%20Ver3.pdf
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