You know things aren’t good when you get a visit from Fisheries on a Saturday morning at the shop. It seems my comments about less fish for Bullen Merri last month wasn’t as accurate as it could have been.
The visit did make me realise that I have an obligation to report accurately, especially with an open line now to Fisheries.
Yes, stockings have been cut back in big numbers from last year. And yes, we did get extra fish in Bullen Merri last year, but for good reason.
Ongoing surveys of the lake indicated that the condition of Chinooks has declined over the last three years. This could be attributed to the increased stocking rate of salmon, and also growing Australian bass population.
That’s why we got less fish. Let’s hope that the lower stocking will see an improvement in the condition factor of salmon over the next couple of years.
Of particular interest in the notes I received was the mention that rainbow trout catch rates were low, and that they survive no more than 1 year after release in Bullen Merri.
On a related point, Fisheries have recognised the feedback from anglers suggesting that Wurdiboluc needs some extra fish. We are to get anther 2,000 yearlings this season.
The fishing at Purrumbete will be firing for flyfishers along the eastern shoreline this month. And of course boat anglers have been given the go ahead to fish the lake all year round with the removal of the lake closure at Purrumbete during winter.
This will mean the annual open won’t happen this year, but more importantly, that boat anglers have an option down this way if Bullen Merri isn’t firing.
Over the last few weeks there have been plenty of fish moving both inside and outside the weeds at Purrumbete and although tough at times, smelt imitations for the fly guys and trolled lures for the boaties have taken fish.
Redfin have been about in good numbers too with boat anglers using bobbers along the back of the weeds doing best.
Bullen Merri will start to have plenty of fish around the edges. Expect big numbers of anglers doing all night sessions with bullheads or casting plastics from the bank. Trophy fish will be about again this year and early morning seems to be the best time to target these beauties.
Wurdiboluc has already started to receive water, which can mean the water clarity isn’t as good. Don’t be put off though because there will be lots of fresh ground covered again this year, attracting good numbers of fish in tight to feed.
David Muscat with a nice bag of Purrumbete browns taken trolling Tassie Devils.Reads: 945