The future of fishing in Gippsland Lakes is looking up, with the Andrews Labor Government now completing its second year of dusky flathead stockings.
Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said the stocking is part of a three-year trial by the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) aimed at bolstering numbers of the iconic species in the region.
This year 35,000 dusky flathead are being released into the Gippsland Lakes at Lakes Entrance.
This complements last year’s stocking of 47,000, including 42,000 at Metung and Lakes Entrance, and 5,000 at Bemm River.
The trial is a key activity within the Gippsland Lakes Recreational Fishery , launched in 2021, to return the waterways to their former glory as a recreational fishing mecca for local and visiting anglers.
The plan was released following the end of commercial net fishing in the Lakes in 2020, which delivered on a commitment of the Government’s $35 million Go Fishing plan to get more people recreational fishing, more often.
In January this year, dusky flathead broodfish were captured at Mallacoota and Lake Tyers with help from volunteers and were transported to a marine hatchery where they spawned, and larvae grew to fingerling size for release.
Complementing the work being done to enhance recreational fishing opportunities in the Gippsland Lakes, Better Boating Victoria (BBV) is committed to improving boating facilities in the region.
As part of Victoria’s biggest ever boat ramp construction program, BBV funded the recently completed build of a boat ramp and accessible fishing facility at Seacombe and contributed toward an ongoing upgrade at Lakes Entrance’s North Arm ramp.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“The second year of this trial is another exciting step towards returning the Gippsland Lakes to their former glory as a recreational fishing mecca.”
“Dusky flathead are a key species in the region and will certainly be an exciting fishing target for local and visiting anglers from across Victoria.
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett
“We’ve seen tourists return to Gippsland in big numbers this year and the significant stocking of fish will entice them to visit more often and stay longer.”
Reviewed 07 April 2022