Victorian fishers will increase their chance to land an iconic Murray cod in the future with 362,000 fingerlings released into seven waters throughout northern Victoria as part of this summer’s stocking program, revealed the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh revealed some of the recently stocked Murray cod fingerlings were grown at the Department of Primary Industries’ Snobs Creek hatchery, near Eildon, with others supplied by hatcheries in New South Wales.
“These stockings are being funded by the Victorian Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative and also by proceeds from the sale of recreational fishing licenses, so fishers are getting a direct benefit from purchasing a licence. The Murray cod stocking season will continue until around March this year when Fisheries Victoria’s focus will turn to more stocking of golden perch, which breed later than the Murray cod,” Mr Walsh said.
The locations that have been stocked with Murray cod so far this summer include:
• 8,000 into Lake Nillahcootie;
• 22,500 into the Goulburn River upstream of Lake Nagambie to Seymour;
• 23,000 into Lake Nagambie;
• 60,000 into Gunbower Creek between Torumbarry Weir Road and Cohuna;
• 70,000 into the Loddon River at Bridgewater, Serpentine and Fernihurst Weir;
• 100,000 into Kow Swamp; and
• 259,200 into Lake Eildon with more to come as part of the ‘Murray Cod Million’ project.
Minister Peter Walsh revealed murray cod fingerlings stocked this summer will take between three to five years to reach the legal length of 60 centimetres. Anglers that are keen to target catchable size Murray cod in a stocked lake or river are advised to refer to stocking histories from several years ago, all of which are available on the Department of Primary Industries website at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fisheries.
Last summer, Fisheries Victoria had reportedly stocked over two million native fish for the second consecutive year, including 885,000 Murray cod, to improve freshwater fishing opportunities.
In addition to that, Fisheries Victoria stocked more than 636,000 trout and salmon into 140 waters during 2012, to improve fishing opportunities for freshwater angles – including 75,000 catchable size rainbow trout that were released mainly into small lakes in suburbs and towns for the second and third term school holidays.