Every now and again, we land a fish that blows us away. The size of the fish definitely has something to do with it, but more importantly, it what the fish represents in terms of the fishery health, and as undisputable validation of the conservation efforts and fishery management protocols.
Week 7 of the 2017 Tanzania Tigerfish season saw such a fish landed. Quinton landed a vundu estimated at around 120lbs on the Ruhudji River, Tanzania.
Nine years ago when we first explored these waters with concession owners KNS, vundu were not seen. Due to the fact that these apex predators are easily targeted by simple fixed line and baited hook fishing methods, and being apex predators their numbers are not high to begin with, the population had been decimated by years of illegal fishing activity.
The proactive anti-poaching efforts, and strict fishery management protocols enforced by KNS the TF teams, made possible by the support of visiting anglers from around the world, has led to the beats
of the Mnyera and Ruhudji rivers, flowing through the KNS concession, becoming a safe haven for not only tigerfish, but Vundu as well. A sure sign of a thriving riverine ecosystem which supports these apex predators.
Over the years we have seen a steady rise in the frequency of Vundu encounters, as well as the size of vundu. From a starting point in 2008 when there was doubt if they even occurred in the systems, to now days, where guides and guests can target these species with a fair amount of success.
So, yes, Quiton’s vundu is a massive fish. But more importantly, it is a fish that represents what proactive conservation and fishery management, with the support of local communities, can achieve. All of this made possible by the support of our valued guests and agents. So, a big thanks to every agent, guest, guide, anti-poaching staff member, and to the KNS management and staff for recognizing the need to protect such a special place on this planet. It has been a pleasure being a part of this conservation success story.