EKKA FUN: Pisciculture competition steward Steve Baines.
EKKA FUN: Pisciculture competition steward Steve Baines.

Something fishy at Ekka in pisciculture competition

MAKING a splash since 1956, the pisciculture competition at the lower Royal International Convention Centre during the Brisbane Ekka is the place to see a vast range of fish.

Entries in the competition open on May 27 and competition steward Steve Baines is looking forward to seeing this year's entries and helping competitors find their spaces.

"The competition has a novice section. Even a fancy $800 goldfish can be beaten by a $2 fish if it shows the right characteristics,” Mr Baines said.

He is a fish fanatic and has been a steward for 20 years. His association with the Ekka goes back much further, as he has exhibited fish since 1984.

His passion is for Australian native fish, and he says most people do not realise what beautiful fish are in their local creeks.

Mr Baines is also known for his quirky tank displays, which have included a kitchen sink and a toilet with a cistern as an aquarium.

"My favourite was a Queensland-themed tank which had a waterfall, beach and a Sandman panel van. There were coral and clownfish as well,” he said.

His "whole box and dice” theme included a box-shaped tank with a hole in the middle filled with dice.

On grand parade day, Mr Baines paints his face to carry the champion fish around the arena.

"Luckily all the winners so far have been small fish,” he said. "The biggest problem I've experienced was when a lama decided to have a drink from the fishbowl.”

After the grand parade, all the stewards relax with a drink at the Ekka Stewards' Bar. One year Mr Baines decided to take his fish with him and was fined $2 for defying the "no livestock” rule.

The breeds on display in the pisciculture competition range from common goldfish, fighting fish, tropical and freshwater fish to crustaceans and amphibians.

Judging of all classes except fighting fish will take place on Wednesday, August 7, with fighting fish judged on the first day of the Ekka - Friday, August 9.

Find out more about the Ekka's pisciculture competition at ekka. com.au/competitions/ animals/pisciculture.


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