Oral Histories

Order now: $16.50

Interviewer: Sue Rosen

Length: 12,170

Date: May 1992

John had lived on One Tree Reach for his entire 55 years at the time of interview. He was the fifth generation of his family from the area and could draw on multi-generational knowledge. He was had worked as a prawn fisherman for 35 years and new the river from Broken Bay to Lower Portland. Of changes in the river he said

"Well, the main changes are not so much in the river channel; it's the sanding up of the river. Like, 35 years ago, when I first started, the river, from Wisemans Ferry, at least, down, was all mud. It wasn't sand. You had to go well upstream before you struck continually sandy bottom, and, at the present moment, the sand is nearly influencing down as far as Spencer. What I mean by sand influence is, [that] the bottom is very sandy, to the extent that there is no mud visible; and we're not getting the tidal stirs that we used to, because the silted mud stirs very easily with an in-tidal movement. Specially the last ten years, the river is not behaving the same as it was when I first started prawning, in tidal movement, in color; and, nowadays, people, if they see the color that the mud used to core up, they call it pollution; but, you know, it's only sediment lifting from the bottom, from the big tides and so forth."

Click here to go back