A record of more than 844,000 trout and salmon were stocked into Victorian waterways during 2016 to improve recreational fishing opportunities for freshwater anglers and boost participation.
A wetter than average spring helped beat the previous record of 706,000 set in 2010 – also a year that saw drought breaking rain fill many lakes and inland catchments.
Increasing fish stocking is a key goal of the Andrews Labor Government’s $46 million Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to get more people fishing more often and boost participation to one million anglers by 2020.
Most of last year’s trout and salmon were one-year-old rainbow trout and brown trout bred at Fisheries Victoria’s Snobs Creek hatchery, which is funded by fishing licence fees and Target One Million.
Around 130,000 were younger and smaller trout stocked into waters that had quickly filled in spring such as Moorabool Reservoir near Ballan and Lake Eppalock near Bendigo.
Drought recovery stocking opportunities have played a key part in boosting numbers, particularly in western Victoria at lakes Bolac, Greenhill, Deep, Elingamite, Burrumbeet and Tooliorook.
Flooded lake margins kick-start productive aquatic systems and provide ideal conditions for fast-growing rainbow trout with world-class growth rates anticipated in several waters over the next 12 to 18 months.
Toolondo also remains high on the list of trout lakes to watch thanks to a water transfer in October 2016 that significantly raised its level and provided security through summer for trout, which have limited tolerance to warm water temperatures.
Saving Lake Toolondo as a trophy trout fishery delivered on another initiative of the Labor Government’s Target One Million plan and helps keep valuable fishing tourism in regional Victoria where it continues to boost small businesses across our regions.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Our Target One Million plan for recreational fishing has saved Lake Toolondo, created a barra fishery at Hazelwood, improved access and facilities, and is ending commercial net fishing in Port Phillip Bay.”
“Record trout stocking following drought breaking rain will see fantastic inland fishing this winter and beyond.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is working to stock 5 million fish by 2018, and this trout stocking record demonstrates we’re gearing up towards that ambitious goal.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020