Anglers set for trout bonanza
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.