Stocking up for future

31 Aug 2018 Sunraysia Daily, Mildura VIC (General News) by Rod Mackenzie THE practice of fish stocking has been going on for many seasons now and is only building in momentum. During my time fishing in impoundments and rivers that are regularly stocked, the fishing has greatly improved at most of these locations. Eildon is a prime example, where vast numbers of Murray cod fingerlings have quickly turned the impoundment into a reputable cod fishing destination. Some of these stocked cod are now more than a metre in length. Closer to home, the Kerang Lakes have seen great angling benefits from fish stocking over the years, drawing anglers from far and wide as they produce good-sized golden perch and Murray cod. Kings Billabong, in Mildura, recently witnessed a welcome release of 80,000 native fish. Of that number, 20,000 were Murray cod. What a great fishery this will be in a few short seasons. But thats not the end of it as recreational anglers and the community are being encouraged to have their say on a bold 10-year draft plan to boost Victorias freshwater fisheries. Upper House Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the draft plan titled Revolutionizing Fish Production and Stocking in Victoria will build on our thriving inland fisheries and rebuild threatened native fish populations. The draft plan aims to make fishing in Victoria even better tomorrow than it is today, Ms Symes said. Whether youre after a cod or golden perch in Eildon, a bass in Blue Rock or trophy browns in Toolondo, we want to make freshwater fishing in Victoria the envy of Australia. Prepared by the Snobs Creek advisory board, the draft plan provides a high-level strategic vision and key goals for fish production and stocking at the VFAs Snobs Creek hatchery over the next decade. It has five key priorities: Safeguard the supply of stocked fish; recover threatened fish species; grow more fish and create more fishing opportunities; smarter stocking; and recreational fisher engagement. Chair of the advisory board David Kramer said the Snobs Creek hatchery has grown fish for recreational fisheries and conservation stockings for more than 70 years. It produces rainbow and brown trout, chinook salmon, Murray cod, Macquarie perch and trout cod, and is responsible for their release into Victorian lakes and rivers. The plan includes a major new effort to bring back Macquarie perch and trout cod fisheries and capitalises on the State Governments record $46 million investment in Target One Million, which is getting more people fishing, more often, Mr Kramer said. People are encouraged to view the plan at and have their say by September 16.