NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries worked with the Central Acclimatisation Society to relocate several hundred Brown Trout from Winburndale Dam and the stream above, to the Mill Pond at Portland to help the survival of an iconic threatened species.
DPI Fisheries Manager, Luke Pearce said that the relocation had double benefits, making the Brown Trout available to recreational anglers and assisting in the establishment of a new threatened Macquarie Perch population which has been extinct from the Macquarie catchment for over 70 years.
“Currently the Winburndale Dam and Rivulet contain a healthy self-sustaining population of Brown Trout that cannot be accessed by recreational anglers due to the lack of public access,” Mr Pearce said.
“The site is also the location of the recent re-introduction of Macquarie Perch into the catchment. This is a unique opportunity to boost recreational fish in the area and assist in the recovery of a threatened native species at the same time.
“This really is a momentous event, with a goal of giving the newly stocked Macquarie Perch fingerlings the best chance of survival, whilst also relocating local Brown Trout from the dam to an accessible location for fishers.
“These Brown Trout, pose a risk to the recently stocked Macquarie Perch fingerlings by potentially predating on them and also via competition as Brown Trout and Macquarie Perch both eat the same thing” Mr. Pearce added.
“Whilst Brown Trout and Macquarie Perch can co-exist in some areas, the less competition the Macquarie Perch have, the greater their chances are of re-establishing a population.
“We are hoping to see future operations such as this one take place, to both provide more fishing opportunities and assist in the long-term sustainability of our iconic, native Australian fish species.
“We are particularly excited as we have had the support of local Trout fishers who have come out to lend us a hand, doing what they do best to catch some Trout so we can relocate them.
The Great Winburndale Trout Translocation took place on June 17.
For more details, please visit NSW DPI Fisheries.