The Andrews Labor Government has delivered an early Christmas present for recreational fishers by stocking more than 560,000 Australian bass and estuary perch into nearly 30 lakes and rivers, including seven waterways for the first time.
The bass and perch stockings are part of the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s statewide program, supported by recreational fishing licence fees, with a record 10 million fish released in 2022.
In 2023, another 10 million fish will be released as part of the Labor Government’s $96 million election commitment to further improve fishing, boating, piers and aquaculture.
Some waters were unable to be stocked this year due to unseasonably high flows impacting small fish survival. These include the Barwon River in Geelong that was scheduled to receive 100,000 estuary perch and the Latrobe River in Gippsland was due for 20,000 Australian bass.
Stocking of bass and estuary perch will continue in Spring 2023. Heyfield Racecourse Lake in Gippsland was stocked with 2000 Australian bass for the first time, as was Lake Elingamite near Cobden in the state’s south-west, which received 5000 fingerlings.
They are two of 19 waterways to share in 319,000 Australian bass over the past two months.
Bass are renowned as an iconic sportfish and revered by freshwater anglers along the eastern seaboard.
Once the bass fingerlings grow to catchable size in three to four years, they will provide a summertime fishery to complement regular trout stockings in both waters during the cooler months.
Five new waters welcomed estuary perch this season, with the Little River receiving 5000 fingerlings, Lakers Cutting at Point Lonsdale 15,000, Upper Stony Creek Reservoir 30,000, Painkalac Reservoir 10,000 and Rocklands Reservoir near the Grampians 26,000.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny
“We’re stocking more fish than any other state or territory in Australia because we know it makes a difference and improves fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages and skills levels.”
“Recreational fishing is a healthy pastime that gets people into Victoria’s great outdoors with friends and family, keeping regional communities connected and supporting small businesses that depend on tourism.”
Reviewed 20 December 2022