- McGowan Government-funded trout stocking program working to improve trout fishing experiences
- Yearling releases for dams and rivers more than double last year
- Over 200 jumbo-sized ex-broodstock trout also being released at various WA locations
Fisheries Minister Don Punch will join enthusiastic families at Drakesbrook Weir for the annual Troutfest celebrations today, with big winter rains set to ensure some big trout in popular fishing spots in the Peel, the South-West and Great Southern this spring.
Supported by the Shire of Waroona and organised by Recfishwest, Troutfest is an annual celebration of freshwater fishing, which brings families up close and personal with the trout to help release the popular fish and enjoy the day's family friendly activities.
The annual stocking trout program is funded by the State Government and delivered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, with an aim of getting 'the right trout in the right place at the right time'.
A selection of the biggest and fastest growing fingerlings is set aside each year for release the following season after eight to 12 months of growth in the Pemberton Hatchery, where they reach the yearling size of 200-300mm. These will be on show during Troutfest, alongside several hundred jumbo size fish and thousands of the traditional smaller fry.
Around 9,500 anglers are licensed for freshwater fishing, and trout fishing getaways to the Peel, South-West and the Great Southern provide a combined annual stimulus to these regional economies of more than $20 million.
Trout must be 300 millimetres or larger to be a legal catch for fishers, with a combined daily bag limit of four. All other freshwater finfish species caught (except for redfin perch) are also counted in the combined limit. Children under 16 years of age do not require a licence to go freshwater fishing.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Don Punch:
"The McGowan Government's trout stocking program is vital to the success of freshwater fishing every year, with 75 dam and river locations benefiting from this year's planned release of up to 450,000 rainbow and brown trout fingerlings, yearlings and ex-brood stock jumbo trout.
"Trout fishing plays an important role in supporting regional tourism and jobs, and having legal size trout in the right place at the right time ensures the important economic contribution made by our freshwater fishers continues into the future.
"In the past 12 months, the annual yearling production has more than doubled and, with the support of Recfishwest, the State Government is helping to develop the Peel, South-West and Great Southern regions into world-class trout fishing destinations."
Minister's office - 6552 6900