Strzelecki Streams start to recover
  |  First Published: May 2009

After the devastating bush fires, the rivers have slowly started to recover and the trout have proven to be more resilient than any of us could imagine.

I first started hearing good reports of trout captures in the last week of April and the first week of May after a good dose a rain that was dumped around Churchill, Boolarra and Balook during a cold snap. The rain filled up Traralgon Creek, Morwell River and Middle Creek back to a healthy looking state. Anglers fishing a few days after the brief downpour were rewarded with some great fishing.

Traralgon Creek fished very well down the lower sections around and below Traralgon South. There was plenty of brown trout caught to 45cm or around 2lbs in the old scale. The average trout seem to be around 35cm; far above the usual average that we get in Traralgon Creek.

Not long after the rains though, the river was back to a dismal looking state. The banks are highly eroded due to the lack of topsoil left after the fires and it seems that the water rushes through the system very quickly. There’s heaps of debris still in the section around Koornalla and well above Hogg’s bridge, which will provide some good habitat for the trout when we start to get some consistent rain ad the water flow increases.

I fished the section a couple of kilometres above Hogg’s Bridge and saw only a hand full a trout: the levels were very low. The vegetation is starting to come back quickly as nearly every tree has plenty of green shoots and I was amazed to see how quickly the tree ferns have sprouted new foliage. I even saw a family of wombats and a couple of wallabies next to the river as I walked it, which are all good signs that a beloved trout stream is on the mend. The main issue is however the erosion and the state of the river banks as it may take a while for the stability of the banks to increase enough to pool the water up enough to slow down the flow after a down pour.

Morwell River seems to have faired a lot better after the fires, and most of the good fishing reports have come from here. Above Boolarra and just below have produced some dynamite fishing recently. The water levels seem to be steadier in this Morwell River than in Traralgon Creek. There’s been some excellent catches of brown trout.

The biggest trout I’ve seen in the past month was caught by Tim Hoppin, it measured 46cm and weighed 2.1lbs in the old scale. The average fish has been between 30-35cm and they are very hungry. Brown trout pattern Rapala lures have been very successful, yet the humble Celta has been used by most anglers with great success.

I’ve had a few customers telling me that they have spooked some large trout up high in the Morwell River, which isn’t surprising for this time of year as the trout should be getting ready to move up stream to spawn. If we get another good downpour of rain before trout closing, the long weekend should produce some excellent fishing. Just remember that the bigger fish over the next month will be spawning s it is a good idea to put them back. Hopefully in the next issue, there’s plenty more to talk about and I hope everyone has a good trout closing fish. Good Luck!

For more information on fishing Central Gippsland, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 51748544.


Tim Hoppin caught this 2.1 lb brown trout after the rain in the Morwell River on a brown trout pattern Rapala.


The Tree ferns shine with bright green foliage in amongst the burnt out forest above Koornalla.

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