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Snowy Anglers Happy With Trout Catches

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A NSW Government strategy aimed at maintaining the Snowy Mountains Lakes as one of Australia’s premier trout fisheries has proved highly successful, with local fishers claiming their catches are the best they have been in years.

The Snowy Lakes Trout Strategy was developed five years ago as a result of poor fishing in the area in the late 90s.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Director Fisheries Management, Dr Nick Rayns, said the five-year strategy was developed after extensive community consultation and advice from a working group made up of members of the Monaro Acclimatisation Society, local tackle and tourism industry members, representatives from Snowy Hydro and NSW DPI staff.

“The highly successful strategy involves a set-stocking program for lakes Jindabyne and Eucumbene, protection of spawning trout and possession limits,” Dr Rayns said.

“Each year Lake Eucumbene is stocked with 150,000 rainbow trout fingerlings and Lake Jindabyne 50,000. Lake Jindabyne is also stocked with 200,000 Atlantic salmon and 50,000 brook trout fry.”

The working group recently met to discuss the strategy and congratulated NSW DPI on the stocking, research and compliance programs undertaken in the area. They also expressed confidence that the strategy had guaranteed the long-term viability of the fishery.

“Local anglers say that fishing in the area is the best they have experienced in many years, with excellent numbers of fish taken on fly, bait and lures.

“This in turn has attracted many visitors to the area with economic flow-ons to local businesses. The fishery is valued at over $70 million annually with more than 34,000 visiting anglers,” Dr Rayns said.

The current trout strategy will continue for the next 12 months, at that time a major review will be conducted which will include public consultation with the aim of providing a basis for a new strategy.

The stocked rainbow trout were bred in the DPI Gaden trout hatchery from fish returning to spawn in the Thredbo or Eucumbene rivers. A research report concluded that the stocking program was making a significant contribution to the fishery. In 2004, between 29 and 65 percent of two-year old rainbow trout sampled from the spawning runs in the Eucumbene and Thredbo Rivers, respectively, were identified as hatchery-reared fish.

The Snowy Lakes Trout Strategy is one of many projects supported by the Recreational Freshwater Fishing Trust. Funds from sale of the fishing licence support compliance, fish production and research activities associated with the Strategy.

Media contact: Kelly Stevens 8289-3949 or 0438-247-571

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