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The birth of a Victorian barra fishery!
  |  First Published: June 2016



The fishing closure for trout is upon us and while most anglers will be gearing up to chase the large trout in the lakes, there are still a few bass poking around in the lakes and rivers. However, with recent news, we have to talk about the Hazelwood Pondage barramundi stocking! More on that later.

The trout as a whole have been a little slow due to the lack of rain. Most of the rivers are quite low and only the Thomson, Tanjil and Tyers rivers are holding good water. Out of those three, the Tanjil is probably fishing the best and although not every day produces fish, there have been quality trout just over a 1kg caught over the past month.

Trout season comes to an end in a few weeks and hopefully we get some well-deserved rain to increase the flows of our streams and get those trout moving upstream to spawn. If this all goes well, we’ll have more trout to catch next season!

The bass have been ticking over well and the upper Macalister had a good little run a few weeks ago that produced different year classes of bass, from juvenile two-year-olds to bigger four and five-year-olds of around 27cm.

Worms have probably been the most consistent baits, however anglers have used small soft plastics or Celta style spinners to success.

Blue Rock Lake still produces some nice bass up in the sticks, but the lure fishing for bass is getting very tough now with the recent temperature drop. Most bass anglers are resorting to garden worms to get results. Anglers are still getting good numbers of bass to 35cm in Blue Rock when using worms in the mornings or afternoons.

Victorian
Barramundi
stocking

A landmark event occurred last month on 20 April, when a trial stocking of 1600 barramundi in three size classes went into Hazelwood Pondage in Gippsland! Of the small, medium and large sizes that were stocked, the larger specimens consisted of 15, 30cm barramundi equipped with acoustic tags, that allow Fisheries to monitor the movement of the barramundi. There will be scheduled sampling implemented between July and October to further examine the survival, growth and diet of the barramundi.

The Pondage is currently closed for fishing and is due for potential reopening on 20 October, six months since initial stocking. This is part of the Target One Million initiative by the Andrews government and it will be very interesting to see how the barramundi survive and interact with this waterway.

This has certainly put Gippsland on the map for fishing and the potential for this fishery is enormous. We will keep you guys up to date with more info as it comes!

• For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing bait and tackle. Tune into Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s Off the Hook on 1242 to hear Will’s report on what’s going on in Gippsland!

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