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A Secret Lost
  |  First Published: May 2005



A few local guys may have seen a picture in a local paper about a gentleman who had caught a six pound plus golden perch in Traralgon Creek.

There was some false information written about this fish, so I thought I would clarify it for everyone. For starters, the article, which was not written by fisherman, stated the fish was a golden perch also known as a Macquarie perch. Now, a Macquarie perch is a completely different species of fish to a golden perch. Macquarie perch are only found in a few pockets of Victoria. Anglers can only take them from three waters – the Yarra River, the Upper Coliban Reservoir and from Lake Dartmouth and its tributaries.

The article finished by saying that these fish are great eating and encouraging anglers to go and catch a few and take them home for dinner. This was the part I didn’t really like. The golden perch, yellowbelly or callop (as its more commonly known in South Australia), is endemic to waters of the Murray Darling Basin, north of the Great Dividing Range. They are not native to Traralgon Creek.

I believe that it is a special thing to have these fish in our river. It’s quite amazing that they have taken a liking to our creek’s habitat and the region’s climate. What I’m not so happy about is the killing of this fish and the promotion it received. Some people might say that they are not native to our area and therefore should not be in our river. I disagree! I say it is a very special thing to have a population of fish that a lot of people would like to catch.

Some great local fisherman and I have tried to keep the presence of big golden perch in the creek a secret. We’d managed to do this for more than 3 years. So now that the secrets out, if you happen to catch one, please put it back in the water. We’ve been doing this for some time and have managed to keep this fishery going for the enjoyment of others. I’m told that these golden perch are unlikely to breed in our creek but that’s a story for another time.

Most people say golden perch are full of fat and are not good eating. Others say that they are fine to eat when they are small. I have never eaten one and never will! I’m sorry that I have only talked about this issue and not the fishing but I felt I could sacrifice just one monthly report to talk about an issue that I am very passionate about. Apologies to all my fishing peers who have tried to keep this a secret for so long, but the cat is well and truly out of the bag now. For more information about fishing in the Traralgon areas contact Will at Allways Angling on (03) 5174 8544.

P.S.

Traralgon Creek has been producing lots of brown trout well into the upper reaches of this river. From Traralgon South to the Balook area, plenty of good size trout have been caught. I have actually heard of some fish breaking the 40cm mark, which is amazing for this area. Bladed lures like Celta’s in all sizes but especially the number 3 have been the lure of choice. Colours do not seem to matter, but I have noticed a few more green and silver Celta’s leaving the shop than others. Maybe there’s a hint there.

The author holds an amazing 12 pound golden perch caught in Traralgon Creek on a soft plastic lure.

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