Western Waters Worrying
  |  First Published: March 2006

Quality water has always been one of our strong points in the western district, but it seems even some of our lakes are not immune to the dry seasons of past years.

Recent deaths of eels in Lake Colac and yet another eel kill in Modewarre have raised questions about the health of some of our local waters. Throw into this disheartening picture the current condition of Lake Murdeduke, which was once a trophy salmonid lake. It hasn’t been stocked for several years now and you can see that not all is well out west.

Thank goodness for the big two. Without Purrumbete and Bullen Merri maintaining angling freshwater opportunities we’d all be driving south for the ocean.

Bullen Merri

Bullen Merri has not turned up the number of bass that we’d hoped for but with a Fisheries survey in late January showing bass all over the lake, not all is lost yet. It seems the couple of times that bass have been caught this season corresponds to the full moon. If you’re planning an attack on these native dynamos, check the moon phases.

March also sees the spawning of Bullen Merri’s bullheads. This means plenty of big browns about over the rocky areas where these bait fish spawn. Plenty of Chinook salmon around 1kg got taken in February by anglers fishing glassies and pillie fillets close to the bottom. This seems to be one of the best methods to catch a nice bag of fish in the lake.


Purrumbete has continued to out fish Bullen Merri probably because of angler numbers more than anything else. Browns to a couple of kilos will be found along the edges this month as the water temperatures cool. The deepwater bait tactics with glassies and pillies will also produce salmon in Purrumbete during March. Trolling mudeyes on lead lines is also popular at this time of year.

Stream Blackfish

Local streams have been producing some great blackfish. Colac angler Ross Spokes landed a 52cm specimen recently. Fish of this size are taken every year and can make an evening down by the river very rewarding.

If you’re considering coming our way during Easter then book early because Purrumbete and Bullen Merri are normally popular at this time of year.

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