Milestone first fish stocking from new native hatchery

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The first native fish produced at the new Arcadia hatchery near Shepparton are now ready to be released into waterways across Victoria, with the Goulburn River receiving the maiden stocking.

Set to improve freshwater fishing opportunities and get more people fishing, more often, the $7 million Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) hatchery is a key focus of the Andrews Labor Government’s $35 million Go Fishing Victoria plan.

More than 10,000 golden perch fingerlings are being stocked into the Goulburn River, marking the start of a new era of native fish production to complement VFA’s other fish hatchery at Snobs Creek, near Eildon.

The Arcadia hatchery is set on 170 hectares on the banks of the Goulburn River and includes 32 ponds, 20 of which are plankton ponds growing newly hatched larvae into fingerlings for release.

The remaining 12 ponds will hold parent Murray cod and golden perch called broodfish, from which the eggs are sourced each breeding season.

When the hatchery is operating at full capacity, it will produce up to 1.6 million native fish annually – mostly Murray cod and golden perch – released as part of the Labor Government’s statewide stocking program.

The program is supported by recreational fishing licence fees and will see an Australian-record 10 million fish stocked across the state by April 2022.

The next major milestone for the Arcadia site will be constructing a $3 million visitor centre, complete with a fish-themed playground, fish out pond, and interactive displays. The visitor centre is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

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