Recreational anglers will soon have one million chances to reel in a fish at Lake Eppalock with a record stocking for the waterway in the coming months.
Set to improve freshwater fishing for decades to come, the one million fish stocking is part of an Andrews Labor Government promise to stock an Australian-record 10 million fish across the state by April 2022. It is also a key component of its $35 million Go Fishing Victoria plan to get more people fishing more often.
The Lake Eppalock stocking will consist of 500,000 Murray cod and 500,000 golden perch fingerlings, set to grow to catchable size within three to four years.
This stocking is a milestone, easily surpassing the lake’s previous season records – 200,000 Murray cod fingerlings in 2017 and 315,000 golden perch last summer.
A short drive from Bendigo, the lake is known for producing exceptional freshwater fishing, including golden perch and redfin. At the same time, more Murray cod are stocked every year as part of an increased focus on the iconic native species by the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA).
Many of the stocked Murray cod are grown by the VFA at its Snobs Creek hatchery, made possible by the Government’s reinvestment of recreational fishing licence fees.
This season, other Victorian waterways also receiving record stockings include Lake Eildon with 500,000 Murray cod and 500,000 golden perch – an addition to 200,000 brown trout and 50,000 rainbow trout that have already been released.
Out west, Rocklands Reservoir completes the trio of large waterways receiving a significant stocking with 500,000 Murray cod and 500,000 golden perch to be released.
The VFA began stocking Rocklands Reservoir with native fish in 2017, with fishers already reporting remarkable results, including golden perch up to 60 centimetres and Murray cod now reaching takeable size (between 55 and 75 centimetres).
These three major waterways join more than 125 others across Victoria set to share in millions of native fish this summer, including Australian bass, estuary perch, silver perch, Macquarie perch, trout cod, golden perch, and Murray cod.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“Stocking Lake Eppalock with 1 million fish will see it remain a must-visit destination of choice for anglers right across the state.”
“Investing in our local waterways ensures we are not only supporting local anglers, but we are also encouraging tourism to our regional towns – of particular importance in adding the economic recovery from the pandemic.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“Lake Eppalock is a favourite amongst locals right across the region – this stocking will see its popularity continue as keen anglers young and old head to the Lake to try their luck.”