An­glers set for trout bo­nanza

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Trout-an­gling op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Wim­mera and West­ern District are likely to grow as the re­gion ap­proaches a change in sea­sons af­ter the State Gov­ern­ment’s record-break­ing 2016 Vic­to­ri­aw­ide stock­ing pro­gram.

Lakes in­volved in the statewide brown or rain­bow trout lib­er­a­tions in­clude Bell­field at Halls Gap, 20,000, Lake Bo­lac, 6000, Fyans near Stawell, 12,000, Ararat’s Green Hill, 6000, Rock­lands at Bal­moral, 6000, Toolondo south of Hor­sham, 8000, Wal­lace at Eden­hope, 5000 and War­took in the Grampians, 12,000. Flooded lake mar­gins af­ter rain last year kick-started pro­duc­tive aquatic sys­tems and pro­vided ideal con­di­tions for fast-grow­ing rain­bow trout.

Aquatic ex­perts an­tic­i­pate world­class growth rates in sev­eral wa­ters dur­ing the next 12 to 18 months.

A record of more than 844,000 trout and salmon went into Vic­to­rian wa­ter­ways dur­ing 2016.

A wet­ter than av­er­age spring helped top a 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 State Gov­ern­ment’s $46-mil­lion Tar­get One Mil­lion plan for recre­ational fish­ing, which aims to boost an­gling par­tic­i­pa­tion to one mil­lion by 2020.

Most of last year’s trout were oneyear-old rain­bow trout and brown trout bred at Fish­eries Vic­to­ria’s Snobs Creek hatch­ery, funded by fish­ing li­cence fees and the Tar­get One Mil­lion pro­gram.

About 130,000 were younger and smaller trout stocked into wa­ters that had quickly filled in spring.

Drought-re­cov­ery stock­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties have played a key part in boost­ing num­bers, par­tic­u­larly in west­ern Vic­to­ria at lakes such as Lake Bo­lac and Green Hill Lake.

Fish­eries Vic­to­ria has listed Lake Toolondo high on the list of trout lakes to watch af­ter 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.

Vic­to­rian Agri­cul­ture and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jaala Pul­ford said the trout stock­ing would re­sult in fan­tas­tic in­land fish­ing in win­ter and be­yond. “Our Tar­get One Mil­lion plan for recre­ational fish­ing has saved Lake Toolondo, cre­ated a bar­ra­mundi fish­ery at Hazel­wood, im­proved ac­cess and fa­cil­i­ties, and is end­ing com­mer­cial net fish­ing in Port Phillip Bay,” she said.

“The La­bor gov­ern­ment is work­ing to stock five-mil­lion fish by 2018, and this trout-stock­ing record demon­strates we are gear­ing up to­wards that am­bi­tious goal.”

Mi­gra­tory ex­otic rain­bow and brown trout can­not breed in most in­land Vic­to­rian im­pound­ments and only live in lakes where they are in­tro­duced.

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