The Weekly Advertiser

Fishing spin-off

By DEAN LAWSON
Expectation of a widespread boom in angling-based activity and tourism across the Wimmera-Mallee is gathering momentum with the release of thousands of juvenile sport and table fish into regional lakes.
Lakes, dams and impoundments dry or stressed for many years but now full or filling with the return of water are coming under increased scrutiny as part of a western Victorian fish-release program.
As angling hotwires buzzed with news of ‘red-hot fishing’ at Lake Wartook in the Grampians, enthusiasts helped departmental staff release 10,000 yearling rainbow trout into brimful Natimuk Lake in the region’s central-west.
Senior fisheries officer Murray Burns, leading the release program, said the Wimmera was primed for a significant return of angling activity later this year.
He said Natimuk Lake, which had a history of boom-and-bust fishing cycles, was poised to produce ‘big’ angling results come spring.
“The lakes will be primed, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.
“Apart from Toolondo Reservoir and Lake Wallace at Edenhope, which are still short of water, we’ve pretty much reverted back to a normal stocking schedule for the region.”
12 years
Agriculture Minister and Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh said the stocking was part of a broader regional program.
“While the Grampians lakes have been receiving annual stockings, Natimuk Lake has received its first rainbow trout in 12 years,” Mr Walsh said.
“The stocking will see the lake return to a dynamic and productive fishery and we expect these trout, which are about 45 to 50 grams, to grow to at least a kilogram by spring.”
Mr Walsh said the stocking was part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to improve Victorian angling opportunities.
The release occurred amid reports of a fishing bonanza during Horsham Angling Club’s annual Wally Gross Memorial competition at Lake Wartook.
Club spokesman Rod Garth said 45 adults and 10 juniors ‘had a ball’ with many ‘bagging out’ on their limit of 30 redfin each and also catching plenty of trout.
“The fish were going on everything, particularly lures and soft plastics,” he said.
Gerard Brookes won the event with a brown trout weighing 2.056 kilograms.
Angling is the largest recreation sport in the world. Research has shown it has the potential to inject millions of dollars into regional economies. The Wimmera has historically been a strong angling region.
May fish stockings: Natimuk Lake, 10,000 rainbow trout; Lake Bellfield, 10,000 rainbow trout; Rocklands Reservoir, 2500 brown trout and 2500 rainbow trout; Lake Fyans, 6000 rainbow trout; Taylors Lake, 13,000 Murray cod; Lake Charlegrark, 3500 Murray cod.

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Posted on May 25 2011

Posted by on May 25 2011. Filed under Community, Environment, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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