THE state government has boosted angling in the region with thousands of fish being stocked in Rocklands Reservoir.
On Wednesday, 70,000 Murray cod fingerlings were placed in the reservoir in a bid to turn it into a native recreational fishery.
Overall, the reservoir will be stocked with more than 200,000 Murray cod and golden perch fingerlings this summer.
Victorian Fisheries Authority chief executive Travis Dowling said Wimmera angling clubs had been calling for the stocking of native fish for more than 20 years to improve the quality of fishing in Rocklands Reservoir.
“Our commitment to develop Rocklands as an iconic native fishery was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve inland fisheries,” he said.
“Based on our experience in developing other native fisheries, we believe Rocklands could be every bit as good as Lake Eildon in the future.”
Mr Dowling said visitation to Rocklands could double over the next five years, particularly once the new fish reach legal size.
“This is expected to generate an additional $6 million in fishing-related expenditure in the region, as travelling fishers stay overnight, buy fuel, tackle and food as they go fishing,” he said.
Rocklands Reservoir also had a large population of introduced fish including, redfin, carp, tench and stocked trout.
The stocking plan was part of an independent fish stocking risk assessment, which found the stocking posed no significant risk to endemic native fish populations.
Mr Dowling said there’s a lot more to come this summer.
“The native fish stocking season has just started,” he said.
“Anglers can expect to hear lots more over coming months about other efforts to develop recreational fisheries.”