The very famous Mudprawn (Upogebia Africana)

Everyone in South Africa is familiar with the Mudprawns and most fishermen would have used them for bait at some point. The Steenbok boundary bordering the lagoon is abundant in this aquatic species for several reasons:

  • The Mudprawn habitat – or burrows – are shaped in a U and the prawns need the correct mud consistency to build them i.e. a good ratio of mud and sand to avoid the collapse of the burrow.
  • Their complex breeding habits require access to the open sea which is the case for our estuary. This is because, during their breeding period (between July & October and between December & March), the female hatch the eggs and the larvae migrate out to sea to undergo three development stages before returning back to the estuary.
Mudprawns also play a huge part in the cycle of aquatic life, providing food for many species of birds and fish, hence the importance of having areas where baiting is prohibited – such as around Leisure Isle (except from the area near Bollard Bay). By protecting the Mudprawns, we can make sure the food chain remains in place. Furthermore, baiting causes huge disturbances and damages to the ground itself, demolishing the burrows and surrounding flora in the salt marshes.

Mudprawns are  benthic organisms (meaning living at the lowest level of a body of water), they decompose dead organic matter and release good nutrients which in turn feed other plants. By filtering the sea water on the lagoon floor, removing sediments and organic matter they also act as a water cleaning agent.

Any illegal baiting should be reported to SANParks on 044 382 2095