Leaving Rutherglen we headed back up through Corowa to Tocumwal, situated right on the Murray River. Along the way we passed through Yarrawonga and Lake Mulwala. The Lake is quite full and we stopped there to have lunch and watched a number of people joining a luncheon cruise on the Lake. Quite an interesting process as the stream of grey nomads (and the like) hopped on board the boat for a cruise around the foreshore and then up amongst the ‘sticks’ sticking out of the water, an old drowned Red Gum forest.
Some found the step on board easier than others, much help and frivolity involved. Looked a nice afternoon of cruising around. Apparantly, the Lake (held back by a weir) is to be emptied to try to rid it of thick weed, the waters will recede back to the river course of the Murray and things will be allowed to dry out before the Lake level is restored. This is like a 3-4 month project, so there will be reduced luncheon cruises while all this happens. It would be interesting to see the bottom of the lake and the old Murray’s course, I suppose it means that water will not be let down from the Hume Dam. The Ovens River, from the Victorian Highlands joins the Murray here at the Lake, so water from that will have to be dealt with as well somehow. Leave that to others to worry about! We are moving on to Tocumwal.
It is a one night stop here beside the River at the free camp down at Town Beach, not quite free as it is $10 the night plus $10 for some wood for a fire. A very pleasant spot as the sun went down, time for some spaghetti bog in front of the flames. it would have been nice to have enjoyed a custard tart here, but they have been scarce along this part of the drive.
Followers may have noticed that various depictions of the ‘Murray Cod’ adorn the River banks at almost every stop we have made. There seem to be more of these than actual fish in the water. Catching the elusive cod is heavily controlled (NSW) by way way of bag limit (two a day) and size (between 55 and 75 cm only can be kept). There are possession limits too and rules differ between States and whether you catch them in streams or dams etc. All very confusing. There are closed seasons too to contend with. A 50 cm fish, considered a mature fish, may be anywhere between 3 and 6 years old. The biggest cod recorded was 1.8 m long and weighed 113 kg, a 50 cm Cod might be 2-3 kg. It is triuly an iconic fish!
Next morning it was off down the road to Echuca and the chance to get into some of the Farm Gate Trail places, as it was Wednesday and they should be open. And maybe some custard tarts!