Ten thousand megalitres of water is now flowing into Lake Toolondo, breathing new life into one of Victoria’s premier trout fishing destinations and promoting the shared benefits of water management.
Visiting the lake today, Minister for Water Lisa Neville and Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford joined recreational anglers, traditional owners, environment groups and members of the community to celebrate the water transfer from Rocklands Reservoir – which will see up to 10GL transferred by December.
Following an extended dry period in the region, excellent spring rainfall across the Grampians Wimmera Mallee catchment has boosted water levels in most storages. Last year, storages were at 32 per cent compared with 55 per cent in 2016.
The allocation to water entitlement holders was just one per cent, compared to 57 per cent this year. If rainfall continues as predicted, allocations to entitlement holders could increase in coming months.
The Rocklands Reservoir reached levels last week that enabled authorities and water entitlement holders to consider a transfer to Toolondo.
The transfer reflects the need to consider the shared benefits available from good management of water – including the recreational and economic value of Lake Toolondo.
In 2015, the Andrews Labor Government announced a 5,000ML allocation for Toolondo. The Labor Government’s Target One Million plan also recognises the lake as an iconic trout fishery and committed to taking action on minimum water levels and establishing a local advisory group.
To mark the occasion and boost the fishery over the next 12 months, the lake was today stocked with 7,000 yearling trout from Fisheries Victoria’s Snobs Creek hatchery near Eildon. These fish complement the existing stocked population of trout, some of which are over 3kg, and the wild redfin that reproduce naturally.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“Toolondo is one of our state’s premier fishing spots – and this water transfer will ensure it keeps flowing.”
“This is about how we can best balance agricultural, industry, urban, recreational and environmental uses – maximising shared benefits wherever possible.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“We know Lake Toolondo is special and produces some of the finest trout fishing on mainland Australia.”
“We want to get more people fishing, more often, through our Target One Million plan which aims to increase participation to one million anglers by 2020.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020