by Paul Sellars
The Department of Primary Industries’ annual stocking program has provided Victorian anglers with outstanding fishing last year after releasing 636,000 trouts and salmons into 140 waters throughout the state.
Mr Dowling said most of the stocked trout were grown at the department’s Snobs Creek hatchery, near Eildon, using funds derived from the sale of recreational fishing licences.
'The stockings included nearly 75,000 catchable size rainbow trout that were released for the second and third term school holidays, mainly into small lakes in suburbs and towns,' Mr. Dowling said.
'Those stockings provided children and beginners with a chance to wet a line close to home. However, experienced trout anglers reaped the benefits of ongoing stockings in larger lakes such as Tooliorook, Deep, Elingamite, Burrumbeet, Learmonth and Fyans.
'Large numbers of trout, some weighing more than two kilograms each, were caught from several of these lakes throughout last year.
'One of the standout waters was Lake Toolondo, southwest of Horsham, which recovered from drought in 2011 and was stocked with brown and rainbow trout soon after, and again in 2012.
'Anglers reported that the stocked trout in Lake Toolondo grew quickly and provided terrific fishing through winter and spring of last year.
'Lake Wendouree is another water that’s made an outstanding recovery over recent years thanks to stockings by Fisheries Victoria and the Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society.'
Mr Dowling said that warmer summer water temperatures meant the Snobs Creek hatchery was now turning its attention to growing and stocking native fish such as Murray cod.
'Between now and April, most of our stockings will revolve around native species, with the 2013 trout stocking season to commence around May when water temperatures drop again,' he said.
Trout Stocking Program