THE Wimmera and much of western Victoria experienced one of its best years for fishing in recent times in 2017, largely thanks to tens of thousands of new trout that were introduced to the region’s waterways.
Lake Fyans received about 20,000 new trout, Lake Toolondo 16,800 trout and Green Hill Lake in Ararat about 4000 trout under the state government’s initiative to have one million anglers by 2020.
The aim of the project is to increase regional tourism and recreation. The state government said the trout releases for 2017 was a new record.
Wimmera Anglers Association president and Horsham Angling Club president Kelvin Robinson said last year was a raging success for fishing in the region.
“It was probably one of the best years recreation anglers have had for many years – it really was that good of a year,” he said.
“The water quality around the area has been excellent. All the fishing competitions have been fairly well attended and catches have been up.
“From what I can see everything seems to be going on a positive note for fishing in the Wimmera.”
Mr Robinson said good rainfall alongside increased trout numbers had helped improve the state of fishing in the Wimmera.
“If the water comes out of the sky you’re going to get better fishing,” he said.
“Fishing is going to improve in years to come because of the fish that’s been put in, and because of the water that’s available.”
Mr Robinson said fishing competitions for small communities in the region were vital in bringing increased tourism and cash flow to towns.
“It’s very important for small towns,” he said.
“I was at Edenhope’s competition last year for their first competition in a long time. “The money that would have been generated then for the town would have been huge.
“It means a lot to the areas. It benefits everyone in the community, not only the shop owners but the community members themselves.”
Mr Robinson expects the fishing season to continue positively and for 2018 to be another good year for anglers in the region.
“I can’t see the season going down at all, I think it will only improve again,” he said.
Nearly 140 waters throughout the state shared in the stocking milestone including: