Niugini Bass Distribution Information and Facts
The major tributaries of the Fly are the Strickland and the Ok Tedi. Both rivers contain Niugini Bass, however, due to exposure to tailings waste from the Porgera Mine, the health of the fish in that river is in doubt and any fish caught there should not be eaten.
The Niugini Bass is found in southern Papua New Guinea between Port Moresby district as well as in Irian Jaya. It can be found in the waters of the Fly river, Sepik river, Ramu river. However, there are no reports of the Niugini Bass in the Sepik River on the north coast of Papua Niugini. In these river system, the Niugini Bass can tolerate both brackish and fresh water. If water is slow moving or stagnant, they tend to stay put and not roam around like most North American bass such as the rock bass, largemouth bass and Smallmouth Bass.
We are not saying that largemouth bass and smallmouth bass like to roam around, because they don’t. The North American bass are quite content with slow moving water, especially the largemouth bass. Even bass that prefer fast to moderate moving waters move around in slow moving water.
In the Fly river, the Niugini Bass has been found as far upstream as 828 km from the sea, but is usually found about 200-400 km upstream.
The Fly river is a relatively long river at 1,050 kilometres/650 miles and is the second largest river in Papua New Guinea, second only to the Sepik river being 1,126 kilometres/700 miles. The Fly gets it’s start in the Star Mountains, before it flows into the Gulf of Papua in a large delta, it crosses the south-western lowlands.
The major tributaries of the Fly are the Strickland and the Ok Tedi. Both rivers contain Niugini Bass, however, due to exposure to tailings waste from the Porgera Mine, the health of the fish in that river is in doubt and any fish caught there should not be eaten. Best to avoid these tainted areas.
The Sepik river gets it’s start in the Victor Emanuel Range in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. Travelling north-west, it leaves the mountains near Yapsei and flows into Indonesian Papua, then back north-east for the majority of its journey and it is the receiver of numerous tributaries. And unlike the Fly, it flows directly into the sea without any delta and is environmentally undisturbed as there are no major urban settlements or mining and forestry activities in the river.
The Fly river, Sepik river and Ramu river all have water conditions appropriate for fast to moderate moving water. They are silty, high in turbidity. Seeing more than a few inches down is not possible. These rivers have the same level of visibility as rivers like the Thames and the Amazon.