Issue 44

February 2023


Mission Statement

The mission of the LBRCT is to conserve and protect in a sustainable manner, the natural resources and living species in the biological and ecologically sensitive Breede River Estuary and the adjoining land areas while at the same time promoting safe and lawful recreational use.

If you take an active interest in, or use, the Breede River Estuary we hope that you will consider becoming a member of the LBRCT and support our endeavours by contributing to these efforts.

Turtle Stranding Season is Here!

Loggerhead turtles nest along the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast during the summer months, with thousands of hatchlings entering the warm and fast flowing Agulhas current during January and February. These hatchlings face a number of threats during their first dash to the ocean (ghost crabs and seabirds) as well as while drifting out at sea (fish, plastic and intense weather).

Drifting with the warm Agulhas current, many of these hatchlings are carried too far south and enter cooler currents. These harsher conditions result in hatchlings washing up on our beaches after becoming weak and suffering from dehydration.

As the winter months approach the likelihood of strandings increase. The LBRCT is a proud partner of the Turtle Rescue Network, used to ensure transport for hatchlings to the rehab facility in Cape Town where they receive appropriate treatment.

Once at the Two Oceans Aquarium, the turtles are kept until after winter, giving them enough time to heal and grow in size and strength to be released back into the ocean when our waters are warmer.

What to do if you discover a stranded turtle:

  2. Place the turtle in a small container on something soft and dry with plenty of air holes (an ice cream container or lunch box is perfect)
  3. Do not remove any barnacles or external growths
  4. Get it to a Rescue Network Partner organisation ASAP

The LBRCT is a Rescue Network Partner

028 537 1296 / 064 774 3862

Day Permits now available at the Slipways

We are pleased to announce that Day Permits are available at the public launch sites in Witsand and Infanta. Sign boards have been installed at Government Slipway, Kraaltjie and Moddergat which inform boat operators of the requirement to be in possession of a valid Municipal Boat Licence. SnapScan is available to allow you to purchase a day permit directly from the slipways.

Day permit fee: A flat rate of R 155 per day irrespective of the size of engine(s).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the SnapScan app on your smartphone.
  2. Sign up and link to your account.
  3. Scan the QR code on the sign board at the slipway. Alternatively, scan the QR code alongside to pay now.
  4. Payment calculation: Number of days x rate per day

Conservancy Caps for Sale

For just R200, you can be a proud ambassador of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust. Our embroidered peak caps are durable and come in a variety of colours, namely green, sand, charcoal and grey.

If you would like to order one or more caps, please send an email to

We need your help!

Be on the lookout for Water Hyacinth and Parrot's Feather

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has tasked the LBRCT with identifying hotspot areas of invasive aquatic weeds, specifically Water Hyacinth and Parrot's Feather.

If you know of any large clumps of Water Hyacinth or Parrot's Feather, please take photographs and foward them to the LBRCT together with the location:

028 537 1296 / 064 774 3862

This information will be used to determine whether biological control measures (bugs) are appropriate as eradication tools.

A few safety reminders

Watch the weather conditions

Our weather can be especially harsh during summer. Protect yourself from the sun and do not navigate the river in windy and rough conditions unless you are an experienced skipper. Links to all weather forecasts can be found on our website's homepage.

Make sure that your boat is moored properly

Please remember that the Breede River Estuary experiences strong tides, wind, as well as large waves. Ensure your boat is moored properly at all times. We recommend that you remove your boat from the river when weather warnings are issued.

Be in possession of all required safety equipment

Safety equipment is very important in the event of an emergency. Lifejackets and other equipment can save your life!

By-law Transgressions

December 2022- February 2023

While not registered or licensed



Towing a skier without an observer



Fishing without a permit


The LBRCT is pleased to inform you that by-law compliance on the Breede River Estuary was good throughout the festive season, with the majority of boats and fishers being licensed and law-abiding.

Monthly Monitoring

Water Quality and Bird Counts

The LBRCT conducts a monthly bird count and water quality run on the Breede River. Both operations are conducted at spring low tide (full moon or new moon). On the water quality run this is to account for the pushing tide increasing the salinity of the water upriver as we travel and test. The bird count takes place at low tide to observe and record the different species as they forage on the exposed mudflats.

For the latest results please click here.

Results from January

0 birds counted
Freshwater reached: 0 km upriver
Minimum temperature: 0 °C

Results from February

0 birds counted
Freshwater reached: 0 km upriver
Minimum temperature: 0 °C

Is all your paperwork in order?

Municipal Boat Licence

Recreational boat licences for the Breede River are available from any of the six outlets as well as online (link below). In accordance with the Municipal Financial Year, all licences are valid from the 1st of July 2022 until the 30th of June 2023.

We are happy to announce that Nella se Winkel has reopened as a boat licence sales outlet in Witsand. Their shop has been revamped and is looking great - go and see for yourself!

Certificate of Fitness

All boats are required to be surveyed annually by an accredited SAMSA surveyor. Here is a list of local surveyors where you can get your COF renewed:



  • Paul Vieira 072 587 2963



  • Trevor Walters 082 758 0467
  • Kevin Castleman 072 672 8900


  • Jonathan Taylor 082 849 5063


  • Johan de Lange 072 201 3195

Fishing Permits

Fishing permits are only available from a Post Office. We recommend that you purchase your fishing permit before visiting the Breede River as there is often a shortage of forms.

Remember that Post Offices are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. If you intend to collect bait or fish from a vessel you are required to tick the relevant boxes.



Swellendam Post Office

Phone: 028 514 1220

Open: Mon – Fri 08:00 – 16:30, Sat 08:00 – 12:00


The Sands Supermarket

Phone: 028 537 1800

Open: Mon – Sun 07:30 – 16:30


Heidelberg Post Office

Phone: 028 722 1931

Open: Mon – Fri 08:00 – 16:30, Sat 08:00 – 12:00

Are you measuring your catch?

Come and visit our office in Witsand to pick up a free fish measuring sticker for your boat! Thank you very much to Tucker's Tackle for sponsoring these great conservation tools to ensure that your fish catch exceeds its minimum required length. If you are interested but reside on the west bank, give us a call on 028 537 1296 / 064 774 3862 for us to arrange to make one available for you.

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