Native fish populations flourishing across Victoria

NATIVE fish abundance has continued to increase across Victoria, despite flooding and blackwater impacts in some mid-Murray systems in late 2022.

The 2023 monitoring results come from the Native Fish Report Card Program, which is a collaboration between recreational anglers, Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) and DEECA to annually survey and produce health report cards for nine of our most popular native fish species across 10 priority Victorian rivers. 

Highlights from the 2023 monitoring results include:

  • Goulburn river – record high golden perch and trout cod numbers, and Murray cod caught to 123cm and 36 kg.
  • Gunbower Creek – golden perch and Murray cod appear relatively unaffected by blackwater impacts in 2022.
  • Ovens River – still supports the best population of Murray cod in Victoria. Record high golden perch numbers and excellent Macquarie perch numbers.
  • Wimmera river – record high golden perch numbers. 
  • Yarra River – record high Macquarie perch and Murray cod numbers. Good numbers of grayling.
  • Glenelg River – record high estuary perch numbers.
  • Mitchell River – record high Australian bass numbers. Good numbers of grayling.
  • Thomson-Macalister – record high Australian bass numbers.

These report card results suggest that fish stocking, regulations, habitat restoration and anglers releasing fish with care, combined with good environmental conditions, have contributed to flourishing and resilient fish populations.

To further assist flood recovery, the VFA is planning to stock over 1.26 million native fish into nine of the most flood affected systems this summer, tripling the number of native fish usually stocked into these systems.

By working in partnership, recreational fishers and government are rebuilding native fish populations and creating great fishing benefits for the community to enjoy.

For more information, please feel free to call Taylor Hunt, VFA Fisheries Manager on 0418 478 028 or taylor.hunt@vfa.vic.gov.au 

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