by Deborah Cole
Recreational fishing enthusiasts will be asked to share their ideas for improving their local fisheries at ten regional forums to be held across Victoria in June.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said it was a priority of the Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative to strengthen engagement with fishing communities.
'We want fishers across the State to have the opportunity to put forward their ideas, and these forums are also an opportunity for Fisheries Victoria to give updates on fish stocking efforts, research findings, facility upgrades and new fishing opportunities,' Mr Walsh said.
'Last year’s forums generated some great projects, including several that are now reality such as upgrading the Goughs Bay boat ramp at Lake Eildon and adding a new function to the Fisheries Victoria recreational fishing smartphone app to allow anglers to determine Marine Park boundaries via GPS.
'Victoria’s recreational fishing industry makes a significant contribution to the State’s economy, supporting regional businesses ranging from bait and tackle stores to hotels, service stations and local shops.
'The Victorian Coalition Government wants to make sure our 720,000 recreational fishers have a say on where the funding is invested,' Mr Walsh said.
The regional forums are being held with VRFish and this year will include some prominent fishing personalities sharing their expertise and experience, including Rex Hunt at the Greensborough forum and Merv Hughes, author of Caught in the Deep, at the Nagambie, Bendigo, Inverloch and Lakes Entrance forums.
Forums will be held at:
June 5 Port Fairy
June 6 Greensborough
June 11 Eildon
June 12 Nagambie
June 13 Bendigo
June 18 Inverloch
June 19 Lakes Entrance
June 20 Werribee
June 25 Wodonga
June 26 Corryong
Fulll details including locations and forum times are available here.