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Worries for the Goulbourn
  |  First Published: March 2011



The Goulburn River has been in a fair bit of strife over the last month.

This is due to very low levels in Eildon Pondage, causing water temperatures to rise to a dangerous level of 28.4C (the advisory service were claiming that it was up to 10C lower than it actually was).

This water was taken by a fish farmer at Thornton, causing all sorts of issues. The fish farmer has been pouring liquid oxygen into his ponds to keep the fish alive, and then he had to pay $30,000 to release water from the Pondage to raise the water level in the river from 130ML to 500ML for a day so his fish wouldn’t die and his staff could keep their jobs.

If the pondage continues to be kept at 30% of capacity and water at high temperatures are released into the Goulburn, we could see massive fish kills in the river.

This is a very serious situation that could have a severe impact on recreational fishing in the area.

Unless the powers that be (those that control water levels in the Pondage) can change their mindsets and keep the Pondage at about 70% to keep water temperatures at safe levels for release into the river.

I don’t think anyone has forgotten that we have just had a 12-15 year drought and suffered the worst bushfires in history and to top it off the recent floods.

It would be terrible to destroy this fragile river system simply because of poor environmental management.

GOULBURN River

The last month has been awesome. It is still dirty but productive to say the least. Fish all the way up to 6lb plus being reported. Recently Werner Berkner has done very well on willow grub feeding trout, catching and releasing well-conditioned fish in the Goulburn and Howqua rivers around 31.5-2.5kg.

Anyone who has fished the river lately would also have noticed the amount of hoppers on the banks. The trout are very fat; no shortage of food that’s for sure!

Local concreter Steve caught a couple of crackers. One was a nice rainbow in the Goulburn of around 3kg on a Berkley Black & Gold T Tail fished super slow on a 1/16 jig head. Steve cast upstream, bringing the plastic down with small twitches and working it into a back eddy and coming back upstream in the slower water.

The best area is still upstream of the Acheron. The Acheron itself is slowly clearing up which is great news and fish are becoming more common of late and also in good nick. I caught a nice 1kg brown near the Acheron Bridge on a 2½” Gulp Banana Prawn on the gravel flats; again fished slowly.

RUBICON

The absolute jewel in our area. This is the time is right for the flyfisher to make the most of the grasshoppers in the area.

Eildon PONDAGE

Obviously with water temperatures being higher than ideal it has fished quite poorly. The mornings being best for obvious reasons. My old mate Steve landed a 3.5kg brown, also on a Black and Gold T Tail.

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