Australian Bass stocking program
Australian bass are a native fish that inhabit the coastal flowing streams of Gippsland, east of Wilsons Promontory.
They are also found in New South Wales and southern Queensland rivers that flow to the sea. Both of those states have been very successful in creating new recreational fisheries by stocking bass into lakes and impoundments.
In Victoria, wild riverine populations of bass have declined, mostly because fish barriers have inhibited spawning migrations and the upstream return of juveniles. Fish barriers are being removed where possible, and fish ladders installed in other situations, however there remains an opportunity to boost remnant wild bass populations by stocking hatchery reared fish.
Stocking bass into Gippsland waters is relatively new. Some production and stocking occurred in 2002/03, but of a limited magnitude. After several years of attempting to secure reliable hatchery production in Victoria between 2004-08, more success came by working with existing private bass hatcheries in NSW.
Fingerlings are purchased each summer and released into waters agreed to by fisheries managers, anglers and water managers.
Gippsland stocking history
The table below indicates the number of fingerling bass released. On average these fish weigh about 1 gram each and measure 2-3cm.
|Location||2002 & 2003||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||Total|
|Blue Rock Lake||
|Thomson River, Cowarr Weir||-||-||11,000||2,000||2,000||2,000||5,000||2,000||2,000||26,000|
|Thomson River, (ds Cowarr Weir)||2,000||5,000||5,000||12,000|
|Macalister River (below Glenmaggie)||
|Macalister River (from Lake Glenmaggie to Licola)||5,000||5,000||5,000||15,000|
|Guthridge Lake (Sale)||1,000||1,000||1,000||3,000|
|Traralgon Creek (Downies Lane to La Trobe River)||3,000||2,000||2,000||7,000|