Grootvadersbosch Conservancy – Fish Monitoring

Written by Jacques Marais
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Galaxias. Pseudobarbus. Sandelia… Nope, I’m not speaking in some ancient tongue, but rather alluding to the irredescent fishies we’ve been searching for over the past three days in the hide-away mountain streams bisecting the #grootvadersbosch Conservancy. In layman’s terms, it’s been a mission focused on finding #redfins, Cape kurper and some of the other diverse aquatic creatures populating our Cape Fold rivers.

At least 35x species of native fresh-water fish have been identified in the remote mountain streams of the Cape Floristic Region, with more than a dozen species endemic to the area. A wondrous world awaits once you dip beneath the tannin-stained waters, with anything from golden galaxias minnows or prehistoric eels, to Cape clawless otter sharing these incredibly rich ecosystems.

More about these amazing fish later, though, as they certainly are not the only jewels in the outdoor crown of the #GVBconservancy. We’ve happened upon stunning #San rock paintings, and surely the most breathtaking natural swimming pools in the whole of the #Hessequa Tourism Region. Add dawn dam swims, #gravelbike cranks, #ebike cruises, trail runs and general outdoor exploration to the mix, and you have a fresh-air destination beyond compare.

Our wider mission focused on monitoring #riverhealth in off-grid canyons such as the Tradouw, Huis, Kruis and Buffelsjag Rivers, mainly under the auspices of #CapeNature and #TableMountainFund. Rock-hopping, ridge scrambles, eel wrangling, emerald caves, deep-forest kloofs, off-piste treks … this all added to the exhilaration while we trawled and swam and dived within rooibos pools as far as you could possibly get from the rat race.

As always, a huge bonus to hook up with my #oZoneAfrica buddy, Zane Schmahl, as well as Aileen Anderson and Carla Wood of @tablemountainfund, plus Jeanne and Martine of @capenature (such a pity to miss out on meeting the #Bionerds, though)!

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