With the backdrop of ongoing drought, this long weekend marks the official opening of the New South Wales trout season.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Senior Fisheries Manager Cameron Westaway says that in spite of the very dry conditions, there are still many popular fishing spots and waterways in good condition closer to the Great Divide in the northern and central regions of NSW, and the Snowy Mountains.
“Given the very dry conditions across much of the State, many waterways are experiencing well below average flows, however we are still expecting to see fishers head to their favourite fishing spots,” he says.
Rivers and streams across NSW not heavily impacted by the drought have been part of the DPI’s fish stocking program. Working in collaboration with local Acclimatisation societies the DPI says it has assessed conditions for fish stocking to ensure habitat viability and water security for the fish.
“DPI’s stocking program provides fish populations a helping hand, while boosting the recreational fishing industry and the benefits to the regional communities home to popular fishing spots.” Mr Westaway says.
The Gaden Trout Hatchery, on the Thredbo River, north-west of Jindabyne is the birthplace of the fingerlings used in the program. As one of Australia’s main centres for breeding and rearing cold water sport fish, Gaden produces Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, and Atlantic Salmon.
Trout season will close at the end of the June long weekend in 2020, allowing the fish species to travel up rivers and streams to breed and replenish numbers during the spawning season.
DPI Director Fisheries Compliance, Patrick Tully, says while most fishers were aware of size and bag limits and abide by the rules, fisheries officers will be in the field to ensure all fishers obeyed the law.
“It’s important all anglers check they have a current and valid NSW Recreational Fishing Licence prior to fishing this weekend,” he says.
“Fishing laws are designed to protect, conserve and share our fisheries resources for all legitimate users and our future generations.”
Information on freshwater fishing rules can be found in the NSW Recreational Freshwater Fishing Guide from DPI Fisheries offices, at fishing licence agents, bait and tackle shops and the DPI website.
The community is encouraged to report suspected illegal fishing to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or via the FishSmart app.