In cod they trust, Albury Wodonga News Weekly, Albury

BEECHWORTH has become Australias newest hotspot for anglers, with the towns Lake Sambell becoming Australias first trout cod fishery. The world-first trout cod initiative was launched on Friday morning by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford as part of the Labor Governments $1 million plan to get more Victorians fishing. Lake Sambell has been stocked with 45,000 trout cod since 2008, but anglers have been required to return the species to the water if caught. The new initiative with support from the National Trout Cod Recovery Plan now means anglers can bag one trout cod each day between 40cm and 50cm in size. Trout cod are listed as threatened in the river system and will remain closed to recreational fishers outside of Lake Sambell. The initiative will ensure the stocked waters of Lake Sambell dont impact wild populations, and controls are proposed to ensure the resource is shared between fishers. The State Government expects the fishery will build on family health and well-being. Creating Australias first trout cod fishery makes our state an even better place to wet a line with the kids, family, and friends, Premier Daniel Andrews said. More recreational fishers will mean more jobs and support for local business in Beechworth and across Victoria. The fish have been bred at the governments Snobs Creek hatchery, and farm supervisor Steve Vidler says they are perfect for recreational fishing. They are a really aggressive fish, he said. They can get up to 15kgs, and live up to their fifties and sixties. The release of more trout cod today was supported by Northern Victoria Region MP Jaclyn Symes and Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford. The Lake Sambell project comes part of 17 new fishery projects across Victoria to promote recreational fishing, which pumps $2.3 billion into communities.