Ever-popular snobs creek hatchery open day returns

10 April 2024

Bumper crowds of fishers and their families are again expected at the annual open day of the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s (VFA) Snobs Creek hatchery, near Eildon, on Sunday 5 May from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

VFA Chief Executive Officer Travis Dowling said it was one of two opportunities each year for people to tour the facility, ask questions of expert staff, feed trout and view plans for a new conservation hatchery and Macquarie perch captive breeding centre to grow and stock more threatened species.

“The event has long been a hit with families, many of whom make the day trip from Melbourne to Eildon, and there will once again be plenty to see and do for fishing fanatics young and old,” Mr Dowling said.

“It comes following a successful open day at our Arcadia hatchery last weekend and it’ll take you behind the scenes to find out how native fish and trout are grown and stocked.”

Guided tours will enable people to explore the Snobs Creek site, ask questions of the VFA’s expert staff and see how fish are bred and grown - from egg sorting to watching catchable-size trout swimming in races and feeding large trout broodstock held in ponds.

A pop-up cinema with free popcorn will be screening a short movie about the hatchery, attendees can try virtual reality fishing and there’s fishy educational activities with free showbags for kids to take home.

Families are encouraged to make a weekend of it by combining a visit to Snobs Creek with casting a line into Lake Eildon, the nearby pondage or the Goulburn River, providing a perfect opportunity to try out one of the 95,000 Little Angler Kits distributed through Victorian schools in recent months.

Open day visitors will also hear from staff on the work being done to protect threatened native fish and how research, habitat improvement, flood recovery programs and translocations are making a positive difference.

The Snobs Creek hatchery first opened in 1948 and now produces more than 2 million fish annually including Murray cod, Macquarie perch, trout cod, rainbow and brown trout and is home to Australia’s only breeding population of Chinook salmon.

A new Macquarie Perch captive breeding centre is being planned for the site as part of a $15 million investment from the Victorian Government into the VFA’s hatcheries at Snobs Creek and Arcadia, which will see increased production of Macquarie perch, trout cod and other threatened species.

The Snobs Creek hatchery is located at 455 Goulburn Valley Highway, Eildon. For more information, head to www.vfa.vic.gov.au/snobsopenday