Adventures at "On the Inlet" in Pt. Douglas
This entry was posted on 3/16/2007 4:01 AM and is filed under Australia.
We were advised by our friends Jackie and Danae to go to "On the Inlet" in Pt. Douglas and eat mud crab. So we went.
at 5:30pm a wonderful event takes place. They take the tuna
carcasses, or frames, from this fish restaurant, tie them to a rope and
drop them into the bay right in front of the restaurant. A fairly
sizeable crowd always gathers for this experience. Underneath the
pontoon live 1 to 5 giant gropers. When we saw giant, we mean
GIGANTIC! They've been there for at least 7 years and weigh over
250kilos each. That's over 550 pounds!!! They were mammoth
fish and the feeding of them was exciting. In a nanosecond they
had devoured the fish and the process was repeated until nothing was
left but the rope.
Here's a shot of George...
The photos and the movie don't really capture the enormity of these fish, but we wanted to share it with you anyway.
George has dinner movie
Here's more information about George and his friends who live under the pontoon...
George, the groper (or grouper in the United States) is a MOSTLY
permanent resident beneath the pontoon of the restaurant. The
groper/grouper is one of the largest fish inhabiting Australian
waters. The Dickson Inlet is all saltwater, therefore it is home to a
rich biodiversity of marine life. Pelagic species, like George, use the Inlet for
access to the large schools of bait fish and prawns that inhabit the
protected waters of this saltwater system. The groper has a constant
supply of fresh food, and therefore can live quite happily under the
pontoon at "On The Inlet".
The species name of George the Queensland groper is Epinephelus
lanceolatus. The Queensland groper can attain sizes of up to 633 pounds (288
kilograms) and reach lengths of 9.8 feet (3 meters) or more. Its favorite food,
when living in estuaries, is mud crabs! Local fishermen often complain
of crab traps being crushed by these big hungry fish. The Queensland
groper moves in and out of the inlet in order to breed in late October
and early November. That is why sometimes there are no fish around and
on other occasions there may be as many as 5 groper beneath the pontoon
at "On The Inlet".
delicious seafood here. Our favorite dish were the Moreton Bugs which
are really a cross between crayfish and lobster. They came with
Jasmine rice and vegetables and a fantastic lemon sauce for the
bugs. They're also famous for their mud crabs - expensive and a
lot of work to get the crab meat out of them. We preferred the
Here's another beautiful platter of seafood they make...
Here's a view of the harbour from the restaurant.
There were swarms of starlings, although different from
ours, that swooped over the restaurant and all seemed to settle in 2
trees on the main drag of Pt. Douglas at night. There they make an intense noise and drive the
storekeepers crazy with their droppings and screeching. It surprised us to hear these nocturnal birds so loud. But we were reminded by our naturalist friend Hans that these birds were here in Pt. Douglas long before the shop merchants were, so if anyone should leave, it shouldn't have to be the birds.