Plan to grow trout stocks

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Waroona local Nick Barrow with a rainbow trout at last year's Troutfest event.
Camera IconWaroona local Nick Barrow with a rainbow trout at last year's Troutfest event.

The State Government has formed a new advisory committee in the hope of “enhancing freshwater fishing experiences” in the South West.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly announced the new WA Inland Fisheries Advisory Committee at the annual Troutfest event at Drakesbrook Weir at the weekend and said the Government was committed to improving recreational fishing experiences in WA as well as boosting tourism and driving economic growth in regional areas.

The announcement could not have come soon enough, according to Sportsmarine Bunbury salesman and angler Rory Grob, who said a lot of the local freshwater bodies have been low on fish stocks for a long time.

“Trout wise it’s really only up Harvey way, there’s not a whole lot down this way,” he said.

“It would be better if you could catch them in more places, Harvey Dam is probably the best known spot but it’s hard for some people to get up that way.”

Set to be headed up by DPIRD director of aquaculture research and development Greg Jenkins, the primary focus of the new committee will be to strengthen fish production programs and identify new potential trout fishing locations.

According to Mr Grob, there are plenty of options around.

“Collie River would be a good place, but pretty well anywhere would be good,” he said.

More than 685,000 rainbow trout fingerlings have been released into South West freshwater bodies including the Brunswick, Harvey and Collie rivers since May, a number the new committee will be striving to increase.

“Freshwater fishing is an enjoyable, accessible and safe way for anglers to wet a line and provides a great getaway for families to fish in the beautiful natural environment of our South West,” Mr Kelly said.

“One of the strategies being considered by the committee is how to stock more angler-ready fish into more rivers and dams and expanding the capacity of the Pemberton trout hatchery ponds to grow more fish for stocking.”

The Pemberton trout hatchery has already grown more than 700,000 brown and rainbow trout this year, with almost 5000 released into Drakesbrook Weir at the weekend.

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