Big Mac is back!
  |  First Published: November 2007

As trout season gets into full swing, anglers have been trying out their old favourite haunts with great results.

I guess many anglers have been wondering if it is worth hitting the Macalister River after the devastating floods. I can tell you some anglers have risked potential disappointment and paid the Mac a visit – and have reaped some great rewards. The Macalister certainly looks fantastic and it has been amazing to hear that some sections have actually carved a new river bed and change the river’s course. A good fossick along the banks will probably land you a couple of hundred buck’s worth of camping and miscellaneous equipment.

Not only may a wander along the Macalister turn up a few folding chairs, but you may stumble across some brown trout to 45cm. It’s interesting to note that all the fish caught (that I have heard of) have been brown trout. My guess is that the rainbows didn’t handle the floods too well, or perhaps the natural recruitment of browns is much higher than for rainbow trout? Or maybe the brown trout have come out of Lake Glenmaggie? Whatever the reason, Fisheries have decided not to stock the Macalister with brown trout this month, but with rainbows. This is because the browns don’t seem to need any help from Fisheries.

Local angler Tim Hoppin has been landing some ripper brown trout between 40–45cm in locations stretching from Twenty Acre Creek up to Licola. This is fantastic news. It shows the utter resilience of these fish. Rapalas of 3 and 5cm have been brilliant, but so have Tassie Devils and Vibrax spinners.

For something different, I have a few crayfish reports. In the past month these spiny guys have been getting a hammering and Fisheries have issued approximately 20 infringement notices in the local Strzelecki streams, to anglers exceeding the bag limit or taking undersize fish. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, you may only possess one crayfish over 12cm carapace length, and the minimum carapace length is 9cm. Also, in the Latrobe River and its tributaries, you may only use five hoop nets, not 10. It looks like it’s going to be a very popular pastime this year, so remember to obey the regulations as Fisheries are on the ball. This resource is considered fragile and can be easily threatened if mismanaged.

The Strzelecki streams were getting a little low, however some solid rain recently has raised the levels significantly, as well as dirtied the water somewhat. Hopefully, steady intermittent rains will keep flows steady. For more information on fishing central Gippsland, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544.

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