Proposed regs. promote Put & Grow, and wild trout

After extensive consultation, Fisheries Victoria are proposing two important changes for the better to Victoria’s trout fishing regulations.

First up, for our wild trout fisheries in north-east Victoria, the proposal is to introduce a 25cm minimum size for trout and to reduce the bag limit from 5 to 3 trout for the following waters: Nariel Creek (upstream of Colac Colac bridge), Goulburn River below Lake Eildon, Mitta Mitta River (upstream of Lake Dartmouth), and the Ovens River (upstream of Porepunkah Bridge).

A 25cm wild brown - this is the proposed minimum size for the described sections of the Goulburn, Ovens, Mitta and Nariel.

A 25cm wild brown – the proposed minimum size for the described sections of the Goulburn, Ovens, Mitta & Nariel.

The existing regulation that no more than 2 salmonids may exceed 35cm will continue to apply to these waters, creating a slot limit of sorts.

At FlyStream, we strongly support this proposal, including retaining the 2 fish > 35cm upper limit to reduce removal of larger trout. For some readers, the proposed new regs. may not go far enough. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that Fisheries have a challenging balance to strike here between anglers who want tighter catch limits, and those who want to take a bigger feed of trout. Overall, the proposed regs are a great step for our wild trout fisheries, and potentially one of the most significant regulation changes since trout regs were reintroduced to Victoria 20 years ago.

Another proposal we’re at least as excited about, is to introduce a 45cm minimum size for trout in Hepburn Lagoon and Lake Toolondo, and reduce the daily bag limit from 5 trout to 3. I’ve long believed we need at least some stocked waters managed with a put-and-grow approach, instead of the pervasive put-and-take view that seems to presently apply to all our stocked waters. Some of the most popular and successful fisheries in Tasmania, such as Penstock Lagoon and Lake Botsford, are managed as put-and-grow, and it’s surely time for the concept to be applied to at least a couple of Victorian lakes which we know are capable of quickly growing stocked yearlings into decent fish.

Proposed put-and-grow regulations for Toolondo and Hepburn should see more trout growing on to the size of this Hepburn beauty - instead of being caught and kept as a newly-released yearling.

Proposed put-and-grow regulations for Toolondo and Hepburn should see more trout growing on to the size of this Hepburn beauty – instead of being caught and kept as a newly-released yearling.

You can find full details of these proposed changes here. We hope readers will take advantage of the opportunity to support the above changes by Thursday 13 July 2017, by contacting:

Taylor Hunt, Fisheries Manager
PO Box 4509
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
taylor.hunt@ecodev.vic.gov.au
Telephone: 03 5258 0256