There are two methods of fish poisoning with leaves.
This one here we use 'em, for poison fish. And we get root. Oh, there's a tree there, I can see from that shadow, see, this tea tree here, that's arrgnga [Silver-leaved paperbark, Melaleuca argentea] this one here. Chuck 'em all along there, in the water here, right down there, break all that limb.Certain sites are favoured. Fish poisoning becomes an important social event with people traveling over large distances and congregated at specific water holes to do the poisoning together. One such site is stormbird story place in the Alice and Mitchell Rivers National Park. Lofty Yam:
Call everybody, all the people, up there, Drumduff way. Poison this now. We come here, camp here, eat anything, eat fish. That's how we all come here, every time. Come here, camp, fishing, turtle, all come. That how we call him Fish Hole. In lango they call him ignganhdh. Uy eromb obman. Yeah, well, that's poison - chuck 'em in the water. Uy (fish), you kill em, uy, make fish float then. That's how we call 'em, eromb. All this bush now, eromb, bushes. Eromb obman, chuck 'em.There is a great deal of ritual surrounding this method of fish poisoning. For example, the men work remain separated from the women and children. Also, since it may take several hours for the leaves to have their effect, it is usually left overnight or longer and the old men wait by the water in the morning. They sing out to signal that the waterhole is ready to be harvested, and go down to collect their fish first. Everyone else may go down after them. Lofty Yam:
They sing him, old paten. Watch everybody, not to catch any of them fish, they don't like. They catch 'em fishing on that fish, they get alive, they never show up again. They get walk all that way for nothing. That feller still singing, watch everybody, not to take them fish before time, you know. Take 'em right time.
Cut lengths of bark from the root and trunk or stems of the tree. Hit them with an axe to get the sap flowing and tie them together. Splash them in the water until a soapy foam comes out. This stuns the fish in the waterhole and they float to the surface. They may then be collected and eaten.