Worthy Winter Waters
  |  First Published: June 2009

Well, they say that nobody’s perfect, which probably makes me not-a-nobody, for I got some details wrong last month. When writing about the closing of rivers to trout fishing it appears that I created some confusion for readers concerning the Kiewa and the Ovens rivers.

I recently received an email to that effect from a senior official at DPI-Fisheries following the publication of the June issue of the VFM magazine. The email I received best describes the problem, which is quoted here in its entirety:

“Hello Geoff,

I have just received a copy of the June issue of VFM magazine and have noted in your section, ‘Alpine Lakes are the Best Options’ some information which is misleading some anglers and in fact has resulted in some calls to myself today.

In your opening statement you correctly state that ‘ ... rivers and streams are now closed to trout fishing until September.’

However, under Ovens River, you state that the river is ‘closed to all fishing until September’. This is not correct. The river is closed to the taking or possessing of salmonoids. It is not closed to the taking of other species, hence fishing is allowed.

Again, in the Kiewa River section, of river between the Pondage and Keegan’s Bridge and all associated tributaries, which has been designated a tailrace water, is closed to all hook and line fishing during the salmonoid closed season. Downstream of Keegan’s Bridge, it is closed to the taking and possessing of salmonoids, not other species.

Whilst this may sound pedantic, it has caused a level of confusion amongst anglers, particularly the statement relating to the Ovens River, although I recognise the context is with respect to alpine streams.

Having said all this, keep up the great work you are doing.

Signed, etc.”

I believe the email best describes the problem and hopefully fixes it for readers. I offer my sincere apologies to all for causing any confusion, but as stated in the magazine and inferred in the email, I am referring to salmonoids in my reports, not native or other species.

Bogong High Plains

The lakes on the high plains have been fishing extremely well through the year, but following heavy snowfalls in recent weeks both Rocky Valley and Pretty Valley reservoirs are surrounded by deep snowdrifts making them inaccessible for fishing.

Lake Guy

Lake Guy at Bogong Village is low and fishing well this month, with brown trout to 650gm and larger being taken by hardy intrepid anglers despite the cold conditions. Shoreline anglers employing lures such as Tassie Devils are catching their share, according to reports. Be careful to not fish the two feeder streams, which are closed to trout fishing until September.

Ovens River

The Ovens River is flowing clear and icy cold this month. It is now closed to trout fishing until September but fishing for other species is permitted.

Lake Catani

Lake Catani at Mt Buffalo is a forgotten water when it comes to trout fishing. It is currently 100% full and holds a large population of rainbow trout that average around 450-500gm in size, with many larger specimens as well. Fishing pressure is at any time of the year is only slight, as the majority of anglers seem to either overlook, forget or are not aware of this pristine wild trout water’s existence. A canoe is recommended but not mandatory as sections of the shoreline can be difficult to access in winter.

Mt Beauty Pondage

The Mt Beauty pondage is about half full although the level may be different in a few days time; it responds to fluctuations caused by hydroelectric operations further upstream. Fishing has been very good in recent weeks according to reports, with lots of pan sized and a few larger rainbow trout to 1.5kg taken on lures and live bait from around the shoreline.

Kiewa River

The Kiewa River from Mt Beauty to Keegan’s Bridge is closed to all fishing until September. Downstream of Keegan’s Bridge the Kiewa River is open to fishing for species other than trout.

Lower Mitta Mitta River

Closed to trout fishing until September.

Alpine fishing conditions can change very quickly whatever the season, so for the latest update phone Geoff Lacey at Angling Expeditions Victoria on (03) 5754 1466 or check out website www.anglingvic.com.au

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