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Boosting estuary perch stocks in East Gippsland

by Sarah Hetherington 28 Nov 2018 02:37 UTC
Group with Fisheries truck: VFA staff Craig and Will Ingram with the Marlo Angling Club © Sarah Hetherington

Recreational anglers in East Gippsland are celebrating the release of 67,500 estuary perch fingerlings today that will improve their fishing chances in the years ahead.

Victorian Fisheries Authority CEO Travis Dowling said the fish releases are part of a marine stocking program that aims to rebuild estuary perch populations in several coastal systems.

"The 67,500 estuary perch fingerlings were shared between Lake Tyers (40,000), the Bemm River (15,000) and the Snowy River at Marlo (12,500)," Mr Dowling said.

"Estuary perch are a popular sportfish and highly regarded by local anglers who've played a pivotal role in the stocking program over many years.

"In August, more than 20 volunteers from the Marlo and Bemm River fishing clubs joined Fisheries staff to collect broodfish, from which today's fingerlings were bred at a private hatchery in Narooma.

"The club volunteers used hook and line fishing methods to catch more than 120 estuary perch, the best 48 of which were transported to the interstate hatchery.

"It was critical that the broodfish were caught, handled and transported in the very best ways to minimise stress and maximise the chances of healthy spawning upon arrival."

Mr Dowling said the primary aim of stocking estuary perch into Lake Tyers is to re-establish a self-sustaining population, which has all but disappeared in recent times.

"We know and love Lake Tyers' fantastic bream and dusky flathead fishery and would like to add estuary perch to the list of species that anglers could confidently target there.

"Since 2015, Lake Tyers has been stocked with 50,000 estuary perch fingerlings, excluding today's releases, and the Bemm River 15,000.

"The marine stocking program is funded with help from recreational fishing licence fees."

Learn more at www.vfa.vic.gov.au/estuaryperch

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