Fees at work to improve recreational fishing in Victoria

05 October 2021

The State Government is giving Victorian anglers more opportunities to wet a line thanks to new projects funded through the Recreational Fishing Grants Program – now in its twentieth year.

Worth more than $925,000 in reinvested fees, the grants program is putting fishing licence fees to work to ensure every Victorian angler has access to the state’s best fishing experiences – with the 11 new projects ranging from fish habitat improvements to a jetty upgrade, education, and fisheries monitoring right across Victoria.

In the Gippsland Lakes, 50 fish habitat structures will be placed at the mouth of the Mitchell River to provide more shelter and food for iconic species like black bream, estuary perch and Australian bass – contributing to the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority’s plan to improve habitats in rivers that enter Jones and Tambo bays.

At Waranga Basin outside Shepparton, the Goulburn Valley Association of Angling Clubs will receive a grant to install a woody habitat, creating more homes for golden perch. The basin will also be stocked by the Victorian Fisheries Authority, commencing this summer with 100,000 fingerlings – meaning more stock for anglers to reel in.

In south-west Victoria on the Glenelg River at Pritchards Landing, a longer floating pontoon will replace the jetty to provide all-abilities access at any water level and temporary tie-up for three boats next to the ramp.

Keen anglers on the Little Murray River will also receive a boost, with five sites between Swan Hill and Fish Point Weir to welcome more snags in deep pools for Murray cod and golden perch. The North Central Catchment Management Authority also has similar plans for more instream habitat into Pyramid Creek.

The Australian Trout Foundation has received funding to continue delivering its Wild Trout Fisheries Management Program – including collecting stream temperature data, site selection for bankside tree planting, assessment of incubator stocking trials as a recovery tool, and the annual Trout Conference.

Trout and native anglers on the Goulburn River will benefit from three grants awarded to the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority to enhance fish habitat near Eildon, Trawool and downstream at Wyuna, installing lunkers and more than 110 logs and stumps.

Finally, the VFA will receive a grant to monitor catches in Port Phillip, Western Port, Corner Inlet, and the Gippsland Lakes, along with funds to publish the 2022 Recreational Fishing Guide in English, Chinese and Vietnamese, fish length rulers, and measures for rock lobsters, abalone, and spiny crayfish.

The next round of the Recreational Fishing Grants Program is now open. Learn more at vfa.vic.gov.au/recreational-fishing.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne

“We are investing in fish habitat right across Victoria to deliver long term value to aquatic ecosystems and better recreational fishing now and into the future.”

“Fishers are making a huge investment into their own pastime by purchasing a fishing licence – that’s why we’re proud to be providing additional funding over four years to get more people fishing, more often, and to ensure this experience is Australia's best.”