Record Macquarie perch stocking helps species recovery

22 February 2022

Macquarie perch numbers have been bolstered with a record stocking of more than 145,000 fingerlings into six waterways across North East Victoria.

Macquarie perch are an endangered species, and stocking is a critical way to accelerate their recovery in the wild.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) CEO Travis Dowling said they’ve been working collaboratively to ‘bring Maccas back’ for several years, especially since the 2019-2020 bushfires further impacted their populations.

“Our efforts are supported by recreational fishing licence fees and the Victorian Government’s $35 million Go Fishing plan to get more people fishing, more often,” Mr Dowling said.

“This year, those efforts were assisted by a grant through the Landcare-led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program. This funding allowed us to transport wild-caught Macquarie perch broodfish more quickly."

Stockings were complemented by instream fish habitat, and riverbank improvement works by locals, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Landcare volunteers, recreational anglers and Traditional Owners.

Mr Dowling said the Landcare grant also meant staff at the VFA’s Snobs Creek hatchery near Eildon could spend more time breeding these valuable fish and increasing the number of fingerlings produced for stocking.

“That dedication resulted in almost three times as many Macquarie perch being stocked this year compared to last,” he said.

“Stocking a record number of Maccas this season is a credit to the cooperation and dedication of several groups including volunteers, fishers, Traditional Owners and government agencies.

“This is another wonderful example of how partnerships deliver better outcomes for the environment and our iconic native fish populations, which are valued so highly by so many.”

This season’s Macquarie perch stocking program culminated in the community coming together in the North East earlier this week to release the 145,200 fingerlings into:

*           Ovens River, below Wangaratta (40,000)

*           Goulburn River, near Trawool (58,000)

*           King River (15,000)

*           Buffalo River, upstream of Nug Nug (15,000)

*           Cudgewa Creek (15,000)

*           Lake Dartmouth (2,200)

Media Contact: Amelia Elliston 0437 801 068