Recreational fishers in Gippsland can look forward to even better freshwater fishing in the years ahead thanks to the stocking of over 260,000 Australian bass fingerlings in nearly 20 waters this season.
Minister for Fishing and Boating, Jaala Pulford, joined fishers on Friday, December 6, from Gippsland angling clubs to stock 5000 bass into the Mitchell River at the Wuk Wuk Bridge, Lindenow, completing 39,000 already released into the river this year.
The stocking of Australia bass and other popular fish like Murray cod, golden perch and trout, is funded by recreational fishing licence fees and the Andrews Labour Government’s $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often in more places.
“Australian bass are an iconic native sportfish that are popular with freshwater fishers, so it makes sense to stock them in big numbers to create viable fisheries like those interstate,” Ms Pulford said.
“Target One Million’s ambitious commitment to stock 10 million fish in 2022 will feature more bass in the mix.”
For the first time ever, Cann River was stocked with 45,000 Australian bass last week, boosting its wild bass population and ensuring local and visiting fishers have a good chance of success.
Other waters that received bass recently were the Snowy Rover (50,800), Blue Rock Lake (45,000), Lake Glenmaggie (25,000), Timbarra River (10,000), Macalister Rover (7000), Avon River (5000), Lake Narracan (5000), Tambo River (5000), Thomson River (5000), Cowwarr Weir (2000), Tyers River (2000), Valencia Creek (1000), Rainbow Creek (1000), Traralgon Creek (1000) and Hyland Lake (1000).
Bass fingerlings take about three years to reach catchable size and have a proven track record in Gippsland as being a hardy and popular sportfish.
In waters such as Lake Glenmaggie and Blue Rock Lake, bass have a long stocking history and have reached sizes in excess of 40 centimetres, attracting keen sport fishers from across the state.
As part of the Target One Million marine stocking program Gippsland recently received 125,000 estuary perch into Bemm River, Marlo and Lake Tyers, the government is committed to continue this estuary perch stocking program and from next year this program will focus on the recovery of the Gippsland Lakes by commencing stocking estuary perch into this great waterway.
PICTURED: Mark Jose and Steve Leatham, of Bairnsdale RSL Fishing Club, Dave Warren, of Lake Tyers Fishing Club, Jaala Pulford, and Michael Jones, of Nicholson Fishing Club.