The Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford announced changes today to recreational fishing rules for trout. Previously there have been no minimum size limits for trout in Victoria and the new rules signify a recognition of the significance of recreational trout fishing to the community.
Changes include the introduction of a minimum size for trout in several waters. Minister Pulford highlighted that “we recognise the social and economic value of trout fishing to Victoria – that’s why we’ve listened to anglers and made changes that improve freshwater fishing and support regional businesses that depend on tourism.”
The new rules commence on Saturday, 2 September 2017 and include:
- A minimum size of 25cm for all species of trout in the Rubicon River, Mitta Mitta River upstream of Lake Dartmouth, Ovens River upstream of the Porepunkah Bridge, and Nariel Creek upstream of the Colac Colac Bridge
- A minimum size of 30cm for rainbow trout and 45cm for brown trout at Lake Toolondo, and a reduced daily bag limit 3 trout – down from 5
- A minimum size of 45cm for all trout and a daily bag limit of 3 at Hepburn Lagoon
- Removal of the trout closed season from the Merri and Hopkins rivers
The introduction of a minimum size in the four rivers will help promote these waters as high quality trout fishing destinations.
The changes are expected to produce more trophy trout in the two lakes, both of which are stocked annually with yearlings grown at the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Snobs Creek hatchery, funded largely by fishing licence fees.
The removal of the closed season in the Merri and Hopkins rivers will give anglers year-round access to stocked populations of brown trout, some of which grow to more than 2kg.
The announcement coincides with the opening of the Victorian trout season this weekend, with free Trout festivals kicking off at Eildon and Ballarat.
For more information, visit vfa.vic.gov.au/bettertrout and www.premier.vic.gov.au/trout-festivals-back-on-at-eildon-and-ballarat