Joseph Keyser is believed to have been the first professional fisherman on the Noosa River. From around 1872, Joe Keyser earned a living by catching mullet in Lake Weyba and transporting them overland to the booming mining town of Gympie, assisted by his son, Elijah. The details are uncertain and folklore has flavoured the story. But most seem to agree that initially Joe pushed a barrow full of fish while his son pulled it from the front using a harness. Some claim that the Keysers delivered fresh fish but others point to the fact that the 50 kilometre hike would have required two full days walking with an overnight stop and that Joe smoked the fish on the shores of Lake Weyba prior to the journey. Regardless, they later hired a man with a horse and cart to transport the food up to Gympie and bring back supplies to what became Noosaville on the return trip.

The Keysers lived on the western shore of Lake Weyba, south of Eenie Creek. The largest island in Weyba Creek, a conservation park, is named Keyser Island in memory of Joe.

Joe Keyser

G.F. Ross, Joe Keyser & Edwin Hawtney, circa 1910

Fishermen On Weyba Lake

Joe Keyser (right) and possibly Elijah on Lake Weyba, circa 1910