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Alex's Column 13/01/2022

It’s definitely shaping up to be a fantastic wet season now.

First we get a monsoonal deluge bucketing down across the Top End from west to east.

That was a Christmas/New Year weather event.

Now we’re receiving another perfect wet season rain event as the remnants of Cyclone Tiffany deliver a huge rain depression, this time heading east to west across the Top End.

In a typical scenario, the first deluge would have saturated those baked, black soil, big-river floodplains.

Now this second widespread torrential downpour will turn the floodplains into an inland sea.

I reckon you can expect road closures on our highways, flooded bridges, and river levels soaring to double-figure heights in metres.

Bring it on, I say… a good wet season following on from the last year’s ripper Wet literally brings the Top End recreational barra fishery to life.

That’s the immediate future, but let’s have a look at the state of play right now.

According to old mate Andy Ralph at Kakadu, as of Tuesday, Cahill’s Crossing on the East Alligator River had dropped to 1.2m.

On the way to the East, Magela Creek is 0.6m, but the gates are up so you can’t cross it.

You wouldn’t want to anyway as it’s bound to more than double that height as the heavy rains set in.

“Also AJ, that big mud bar that was in front of the South Alligator River boat ramp is back again,” Andy told me.

“Two boats got stuck on it today.

“It goes all the way from the ramp to the bridge on the west side,” Andy explained.

It was this time last year that a big mud bar was causing launching problems at the South Alligator boat ramp.

However, once the river started to flood in earnest, with strong flows coming down from the top, the mud bar slowly moved downstream until eventually it was not a problem.

No doubt that will happen again this year, and possibly sooner than later with all this rain coming.

On the other side of Darwin, down at the Daly River, some good barra came on the bite for Jason Rogers and his wife, Melita McKinnon.

They landed about 15 barra.

“Melita lost a donkey,” Jason told me.

“The water coming out of most of the creeks is stinky, with dead and dying catfish coming out.

“Might be some fish kills coming up on the floodplains of the Daly if we don’t get some more rain,” Jason said.

This is all the more reason to appreciate all the rainfall across the Top End this week.

Jason Rogers checked out the Daly River last week and enjoyed a nice session on quality barra.

Josh McKenzie fished this Daly River colour change, catching up to 20 barra in one session.


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