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Big trout equal big bucks for north east Victoria

by Sarah C Hetherington 30 Oct 2018 05:44 UTC
Rainbow trout © Victorian Fisheries Authority

A recent economic report has revealed that the stocking of 2,000 monster rainbow trout by the Victorian Government in September has generated an estimated $1.1 million dollars for businesses in the Murrindindi Shire.

The stocking was a part of the State Government's record $46 million Target One Million plan to get more Victorians fishing more often, which includes $9 million from recreational fishing licence fees.

The report revealed that approximately 7,000 people visited the Goulburn River in the days and weeks after the stocking to catch themselves that trophy trout of a lifetime.

Most of the revenue came from visitors outside the Shire booking overnight accommodation and spending in the area, with the majority travelling an average of 74km to get there.

"All accommodation, other than the unpowered camp sites was completely booked out," a local business owner said.

"It injected a vibe into the whole Shire that was infectious. From below the Pondage all the way to Yea was crazy, it fired up the whole area for 6 weeks."

Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said that the stocking was made possible because the Goulburn River Trout Farm had 2,000 particularly large ex-brood stock on hand.

"We knew this was the perfect opportunity to promote recreational fishing and boost regional businesses in the area," Mr Dowling said.

"It's all thanks to the enthusiasm of the local communities and the recreational fishers who drove miles to get out there."

The report also revealed that the Eildon and Ballarat trout opening festivals attracted over 4,000 people and raised over half a million dollars in total revenue for surrounding businesses.

"We will continue to promote the trout opening festivals in the years to come and we've just announced that the stonkers will definitely be back next year," Mr Dowling said.

The VFA has rolled out eight more Target One Million kids fishing events across the state since trout opening on 1 September, which brings the total number of kids who have tried fishing to over 3,000 and has seen 1,200 of them take their very own fishing rod home.

To download the full Kinetica Group economic report visit www.vfa.vic.gov.au/trouteconomicsurvey.

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