On 25 February 2020 I received a report from Editor-in-Chief Eugene Kruger about anglers that took part in the South African Masters Tournament at the Sloep at Bloemhof Dam who were confronted by large numbers of Mozambique tilapia/blue kurper, in Afrikaans known as “bloukurper”. Johan Donald, of the SA Freshwater Bank Angling Confederation who participated in the event, reported the presence of millions of juveniles, and adults up to 1.2 kg. In a subsequent conversation with Bernard Venter of Eco-Care Trust, it was reported that blue kurper has been caught in the Sloep for a number of years and that the species have spread as far downstream as the weir at Warrenton in the Northern Cape.
A number of questions were send to Bernard Venter who forwarded it to wellknown Protea anglers Loutjie Louwies, who provided invaluable information. Apparently blue kurper appeared for the first time in anglers’ catches approximately four years ago. The species is also present in the Vaal Dam, the Vaal Barrage and downstream from Bloemhof Dam. The average length of blue kurper that was caught ranged from 15 to 30 cm, with a weight of 150 to 300 grams. During one of Loutjie’s angling sessions, blue kurper contributed 7% to his total catch.