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RiverWise – December 2023 P – Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust

Issue 49

December 2023

Witsand - ©Jean Tresfon

Fishing at the mouth - ©Jean Tresfon


A visit from our local Councillors

On Thursday, the 21st of December, the LBRCT hosted Hessequa Ward Councillors, Mr Gerald Boezak and Mr Hendrik Saayman, as well as Garden Route District Councillor, Mr Jobieth Hoogbaard. The Councillors were welcomed with a brief presentation on our operation and logistics, followed by a pleasant boat patrol on the river and a trip around Witsand to engage with the public. All feedback received was positive and we enjoyed the opportunity to share what we do with our local Councillors.

Going Boating?

Here's what you need to know

2023 School Talks

The LBRCT visited five schools in 2023 to educate the pupils on the local fauna and flora found in our environment and the importance of protecting it for future generations. For each school we organised sponsors and donations of sports equipment and educational posters. Here is a summary of our talks for the year:

Ouplaas Primary School

Vondeling Primary School

Slangrivier Primary School

Heidelberg High School

De Waalville Primary School

Recreational Fishing Permits are available online:

We are pleased to announce that Recreational Fishing Permits are now available online! Please visit https://www.fishing.dffe.gov.za/ and follow the steps above to purchase your permit.

Please remember that should you intend fishing from a vessel, at least one crew member requires the permit condition for an "additional fee per vessel for recreational fishing from such vessel" to be selected.

Open days and markets

During December, the LBRCT set up a stall at the Trading Post as well as attended local markets at the Bent Head and in Infanta. Boat licences, memberships, caps and calendars were sold. Free educational pamphlets were also handed out to the public.

Are you a member of the LBRCT?

Memberships are due for renewal from the 1st of July 2023.


If you take an active interest in, or use the Breede River Estuary, we encourage you to become a member of the LBRCT and support our worthwhile endeavours on your behalf by way of contributing to these efforts.

Breede River Locations Map

Click here to view a map of the Breede River Estuary containing the locations of popular spots, attractions, restaurants & pubs, accommodation, boat licence sales outlets, public slipways, and more!

Buy a 2024 Conservancy Calendar

Calendars are available for R150. Click on the image above to preview the full calendar. All calendars are printed on high quality glossy paper, A4-sized and wire-bound. Please contact info@breede-river.org or 064 774 3862 to place an order.

Buy a Conservancy Cap

SAMSA Incident Report Form

The South African Maritime Safety Authority requests any vessel -

a) which has been lost, abandoned or stranded; or

b) which has been seriously damaged or has caused serious damage to any vessel; or

c) on which any casualty resulting in loss of life or serious injury to any person or an accident has occurred; or

d) which has been in a position of great peril either from the action of some other ship or for any other reason to use this form for reporting the circumstances within 24 hours to the nearest SAMSA office.

Meet our Seasonal Helpers

Meet our Slipway Monitors. These friendly ladies have been present at the Public Slipways of Swellendam Municipality (Moddergat and Infanta) during the school holidays. They are inspecting and selling Municipal Boat Licences, as well as ensuring that safety is our top priority. Please feel free to engage with Cecile, Lee-Handri and Eden.

Annual Information Meetings

During the school holidays in December, the LBRCT hosted our Annual Information Meetings in Malgas and Witsand. The presentation contains information and updates relating to staffing and finance, as well as our compliance and conservation efforts over the last year. If you did not manage to attend the meeting but are interested in who we are and what we do in terms of the management and conservation of the Breede River Estuary please download the presentation using the link below.


Pause the video to read the information contained in the slides. Please note that only the conservation, compliance and education parts contain audio voiceovers.

For any queries please email management@breede-river.org.

Compliance Report

Please note the text in red displays one and a half years worth of transgressions.

Ranger Permit Inspections for November and December 2023

Boat Licences - 146

Fishing Permits - 195

Number of Transgressions - 18

Compliance rate for boat licences and fishing permits = 94,7%

(LBRCT Inspections Only)

Revision of the Estuary Management Plan

The Breede River Estuary is unique in that the middle of the river marks the boundary line between not just two Local Municipalities (Swellendam and Hessequa), but two District Municipalities too (Overberg and Garden Route). This results in the Responsible Management Authority (RMA) for the estuary being the Western Cape Government's Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP). Following the National Estuary Management Protocol all estuaries must be managed through an Estuary Management Plan which must be revised within five years.


Two years ago, the Breede River Estuary Advisory Forum (BREAF) was reestablished for local organisations, associations, stakeholders, and all spheres of government to provide relevant and constructive input into the revision of the Breede River Estuary Management Plan (BREMP) for 2024. Using historic research as well as active working groups with representatives from various backgrounds a draft BREMP has been released for public comment. The document covers the main objectives and performance indicators for the protection and sustainable use of the estuary.


In January 2024, the DEA&DP plan to advertise the revised BREMP through local media channels for the final public participation process before it is submitted to the Minister of Environment to be signed off.


The LBRCT will disseminate this widely and encourages all interested and affected parties to comment on the updated Breede River Estuary Management Plan.

Have you renewed your Municipal Boat Licence?

Boat licences need to be renewed annually from July. 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 annual licences are valid from the 1st of July 2023 until the 30th of June 2024.

Please note: Commercial licences are required for vessels used in commercial operations, such as chartering, rentals and houseboats. Please apply in writing to info@breede-river.org

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 accounts 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.

If you are interested in receiving news updates and other interesting information consider joining our 'LBRCT Communications' WhatsApp group.

Click here to join the group.

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