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Klipvoor Dam / Borakalalo PDF Print E-mail

 

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The Dam wall at Klipvoor when it overflows during the raining season.

Fish

  • Carp Common
    Image
    The entrance at Klipvoor Dam.
  • Tilapia Blue
  • Tilapia Canary
  • Tilapia Threespot
  • Barbel Sharptooth
  • Barbel Silver (Makriel)
  • Yellowfish Smallmouth (only ever seen in river)

Fishing

  • Bank fishing day visitor side.
  • Bank fishing overnight at Pitjane camp.
  • No boats / canoes allowed. (Bait boat only.)
  • Fly fishing in river (only permitted if accompanied by a hired guide.) 
Bait
  • Pap or Deeg (flour water mix)
  • Earthworms Kariba and Springer
  • Mielies (corn pips)
  • Crickets
  • Boilies
  • Platannas
  • Crabs
  • Flies (fly fishing)

Klipvoor dam in Borakalalo nature reserve was one of my favorite dams to go to.
This was until not so long ago.

Apart from the fishing that according to me, has declined substantially over the last few years, the fact that basically all the fish died on the spot (what it looked like to me) in 2007. There was dead fish everywhere and tons of it. It was said that they suffered this horrible fate due to poison that ended up in the water. I was also told it was due to lack of oxygen in the water by some of the staff there. When I did speak to the staff behind the counter at the gate, they said they didn't know why the fish died. I recently tried to get some kind of update as to how the fish was doing or if there's even any fish left. After numerous phone calls we both gave up trying to look for a straight answer from the people on the other side of the line, but to no avail. Either the staff really doesn't know, or they just don't care as this was the feeling that I got when speaking to a few of them. I should have written down the names but this would probably not make any difference.

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Klipvoor Pitjane overnight camp's fishing side.
Let's face it, fishing is not their top priority there. The wildlife obviously is. Even this was kind of scarce the last time we went on a game drive. I remember those game drives as being an eventful and pleasant finish to what used to be a lovely fishing weekend. These days you have to look around wildly for any life to see any wildlife. We did however see the odd animal and the rhino's are still there. One can only wonder for how long.

 On our last visit there (probably our last visit ever) my brother and his wife came across a giraffe that was trapped by a snare around his leg. His leg was so swollen that the wire has cut into the flesh causing it to bleed. They then rushed to the gate and informed the staff about this. An hour or more after my brother's return, two men showed up asking him the exact location of the giraffe. I asked them if poaching has become a problem in this reserve where he answered: "it used to be a problem, but not anymore." Well of course not! That giraffe was obviously trying to commit suicide! He probably just misjudged the height of the noose. Right...
Regardless, the two gentlemen left and that was that. My brother still mentioned that he wanted to go look at what they did with the giraffe a little later. Well that little later was not necessary because 15 minutes after the two gentlemen left, we received some kind of message.
Now it is true that the sound of a reel run can awaken the deepest dozer. I am certain a few comatose patients could be snapped out of unconsciousness with a mere drag on a centrepin reel. Doctors should definitely give it a go.
Imagine how a machine gun run would spring you to attention! This is what we experienced 15 minutes after the guys left.
Now we don't know what exactly happened, but we were not planning to find out. After the third or fourth burst of shots, we packed up in record time and screeched tires on a dirt road to get out of there. We can only imagine three things. One, they decided to end the giraffe's misery. Two, they ran into poachers and a gun battle started. Or three, we might have been half blind when looking for game on our game drive and did not notice the shooting range on this particular drive. Maybe that's why we didn't see so many animals because, like my dad used to say: " Jy kyk soos jou g@t!" Anyone can miss a shooting range, right?

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Views from Pitjane camp site.

Personally I will miss the place. I'm not saying nobody should go there. It's a beautiful place with wonderful scenery. Where else can you go fishing, where you wake up early in the morning to catch the rhinos drinking, and I'm not talking about the rugby team. There are hippos and crocs in the water, the birdlife is amazing, and thanks to the koppie behind pitjane camp, dawn is half an hour longer, making it a breathtaking view. That is to say, if there's still fish to catch these days.

If someone knows of any improvement at Klipvoor, don't hesitate to inform us. Somebody must have been there in the last year or so. We fishermen could and should be each others eyes and ears. Heaven knows you can't phone Klipvoor's reception! Being helpful just doesn't seem to be too high on their priority list. And we all know us fishermen only speak the truth.., apart from size being irrelevant, but if you want to know how the fishing is, ask a fisherman.

04/01/2010 (My Phone call)
After numerous emails and inquiries I decided to phone Klipvoor again.This is what I was told:

They have a new manager. Moses Modise took over the reigns but this happened in 2005 already. While this might be perceived as good news, a lot of the complaints did however happen long after 2005 and even reported more recently. While our bated breath might still be stored on the back seat,  let us however still hope for the possibility that things might turn around for us and them at Klipvoor.

I did manage to speak to a very positive Steven Theron, who joined their staff during the course of 2009 and he informed me of all the happenings around this memorable body of water. According to Steven, considerable effort was made to fix the water quality and he is happy to announce that the water at Borakolalo is once again clean! He also informed me that the dying fish were a thing of the past and it's been some time since the last major incident in 2007.
According to Steven the average fish caught, seemed to be around 4 kg, and some in the 5 to 6 kg range has come out recently. This seems like good news for a change.

While poaching might still be the biggest crippling effect to this establishment, he said that they now contracted an Anti-Poaching unit, who regularly patrols the banks and koppies for poachers of game and fish. While the fish poaching with nets now happens from the bank, it is comforting to know that the crocodiles keep the poachers off the water. 

Responding on an issue raised by a recent angler, Steven told us that upon entering the reserve, everyone is required to stipulate the place of visit in order to determine the entry fee. Therefore, it is quite within your rights to report unwelcome guests at your camping site, who in turn will be escorted off the reserve. This incident unfortunately transpired on Christmas day where some of the day visitors drove around to the Pitjane camp where they played loud music from their minibus, shouted and cheered for most of the day while leaving and breaking empty bottles as far as they went. This resulted in the angler who decided to pack up and leave, and not the trouble makers.
Next time, report them at the gate, and they will be removed from the reserve.

One thing I do remember of my prior visits to Klipvoor was the absence of Hyacinth plants. For some reason this plant just stayed away, and I was told that the water is still Hyacinth free.

Fishing is apparently back to normal and we can expect the usual suspects we once so caught there in abundance.
But...with a new addition!
Klipvoor has always been a Carp destination dam, with some interest in Bream / Kurper over the hotter months. One can always count on the Barbel there, and if you use worms, you'll definitely see some Makriel. While Threespot Tilapia might make way for the odd Threespot Ghielemien every now and then, it has been some time now since anyone has seen a Blue Tialpia or Blou Kurper.
Which brings me to the "New Addition.
It is confirmed by mr. Theron that there is now Bass in Klipvoor Water. This bass is bred and closely monitored by authorities at Klipvoor dam. How the Bass ended up in Klipvoor to begin with remains however a great mystery, but since they are, some of the guys went with the idea and now it seems that they have established themselves and are doing well.
Thus as soon as we get confirmation with a photo as to which of the bass family now calls Klipvoor home, we will add it to their fishing specie list.
My guess is, it is the Largemouth Bass, but we will wait and see.

I will pay them a visit soon and will publsih the findings here as usual.

Keep you posted.

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