Many fish and freshwater prawns make their lives in the deep pools of Katherine River among rocks and logs.
Wiling the afternoon away catching a finny dinner is a great local pastime and the chances of spotting some of the birds and other animals that use these areas are high while you are there.
Fresh and saltwater crocodiles are common in Top End waterways.
Freshwater crocodiles live in most reaches of the Katherine River and nest in the warm sandy banks. Cute little hatchling freshies can sometimes be seen in the shallows along the river banks, hunting for insects.
Large saltwater crocodiles regularly move into our region, with crocs reaching above four metres in length being caught in baited traps in the Katherine and Flora Rivers by wildlife rangers.
Saltwater crocodiles are very efficient hunters and special sensory adaptations make them able to find food even in muddy water.
They are superbly camouflaged and are able to move around in even very shallow clear water without detection.
Salties will climb up out of the water to warm themselves in the sun or if they can smell a potential feed near the water’s edge.
They leave a very distinctive ‘belly slide’ track mark in the mud and sand as they clamber up onto the river bank.
Recently our wildlife rangers have had reports of large slide marks in between Galloping Jack and Crystal Rapids and would like to ask keen local fishos to take extra care when in the area.
Salties have been known to go visiting campsites at night so always camp at least 50 metres away from the water’s edge.
Remember, crocs can jump, so always stay five metres away from the water while you are fishing, and please, never enter the water to retrieve snagged fishing gear. You never quite know who’s watching you be a good citizen.
Next time you are sitting by the river, watching the sun go down, waiting for the fish you just caught to bake in the coals, stay safe; be crocwise. To report estuarine (saltwater) crocodile sightings in the Darwin region phone 0419 822 859 or in the Katherine region phone 0407 958 405.