The release of 10,000 fingerlings of Chinook salmon into Lake Mullen Merri marks the return of the large fighting fish in the Victorian waters, re-energizing the local business in south-west Victoria.
The first wave of 10,000 Chinook salmon advanced fingerlings have today been released into Lake Bullen Merri by Fisheries Victoria.
Member for Polwarth, Terry Mulder said the Chinook salmon were last stocked into the lake five years ago.
'The return of Chinook salmon is a boon for local businesses in south-west Victoria.
'Recreational fishers are advised to prepare their tackle well because these large fighting fish will be available over the next few years,' he said.
Mr. Mulder said in 2010 and 2011, Recreational Fishing Licence funds were used to successfully improve the reliability of fish production at DPI's Snobs Creek hatchery facility, near Eildon – which has the last remaining population of Chinook salmon in Australia.
'This involved a genetic review of broodstock, a review of Chinook salmon production methods and stocking success in the crater lakes,' he said.
'Work by Fisheries Victoria has since led to a major increase in their production, fertilisation rates, survival and growth rates,' he said.
Mr. Mulder said more Chinook salmon are proposed to be stocked into Lake Purrumbete and Lake Elingamite from March 2013.
'Other waters are also being considered for Chinook salmon stocking from 2013 in consultation with recreational fishers, subject to appropriate translocation approvals.
Mr Mulder said as part of the Fisheries Victoria Chinook salmon project, some sterile (triploid) Chinook salmon have also been produced which will be trialled in selected waters.
'In the late 1970s, Chinook salmon stocked into the crater lakes reached up to 12 kg in weight and these trophy fish were extremely popular with recreational fishers.
'A review of stocking history in the crater lakes was used to optimise a Chinook salmon stocking plan,' he said.
'This plan was informed by angler catch information and local angling clubs will monitor the performance of the fishery over the next four years.'