NSW DPI seeks feedback on proposed native freshwater fish stocking plan for 2017/18

NATIVE BEAUTY: Ben Hohnke with a native Golden Perch (yellow belly) he caught on a lure at Chaffey Dam which is popular with anglers.
NATIVE BEAUTY: Ben Hohnke with a native Golden Perch (yellow belly) he caught on a lure at Chaffey Dam which is popular with anglers.

Anglers and fishing clubs in the Gunnedah shire are encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed native freshwater fish stocking plan for 2017/18 by June 16.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) senior fisheries manager, Cameron Westaway, said DPI was responsible for stocking public dams and lakes across NSW to ensure recreational fishing and conservation of biodiversity continues.

“We are inviting the community to consider where we should prioritise our native fish stockings in the upcoming season, so that we can do our best to enhance our inland recreational fisheries and improve our aquatic biodiversity,” Mr Westaway said.

“We consider sites which historically have been stocked with fish along with the physical condition of dams, outcomes of stocking related research, relative fishery performance and feedback from anglers.

“We produce our native fish in conditions as close as we possibly can to natural conditions so production can vary with the seasons and the plan sets out targets which are dependent on hatchery production.”

Mark Hohnke with a native catfish he caught on a lure at Quipolly Dam.

Mark Hohnke with a native catfish he caught on a lure at Quipolly Dam.

Mr Westaway said DPI was asking anglers to also identify any other freshwater lakes not currently listed in the plan that may be suitable for native fish stocking. 

“The creation of new fishing locations is just as important as maintaining and enhancing existing ones,” he said.

DPI Fisheries staff have conducted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the freshwater fish stocking program and a management strategy is in place to ensure the stocking is carried out using best practice guidelines.

The Australian Bass, Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Silver Perch and Trout Cod fingerlings released during the stocking program are produced at the DPI Hatcheries at Narrandera and Port Stephens.

Mr Westaway said production of native fish at the DPI Narrandera and Port Stephens fish hatcheries is supported by funds from the Recreational Fishing Trust. 

More information is available at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/stocking