Inland Estuary Perch Fisheries

VFA is developing new inland fisheries for estuary perch. These hard fighting fish take a range of baits and lures and are a favourite with all who catch them.

The Great Perch Search

Large scale production of estuary perch fingerlings is now undertaken at a private hatchery in Narooma, NSW, on behalf of Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Broodfish perch are caught with the help of expert volunteer anglers from a range of waters along the Victorian coastline. This annual event has been dubbed 'The Great Perch Search'. We are very grateful for the efforts of recreational anglers who volunteer their time for this cause.

The broodfish perch are then flown straight to the Narooma hatchery in prime breeding condition. They are retained at the hatchery to help develop 'captive breeding' methods for estuary perch.  The young fish produced are then transported back to Victoria to be stocked.

There are some differences in estuary perch genetics across the state so two perch searches are undertaken, one in the west of the state and one in the east. The progeny of the western Perch Search are stocked into Devil Bend Reservoir, the Maribyrnong River, Barwon River and waters to the west. The eastern Perch Search progeny are stocked into Gippsland waters like the Gippsland Lakes, Lake Tyers and other waters in the east of the state.

Estuary perch video transcript

Waters and stocking figures so far are:

Water

2012 (Jan)

2012 (Dec)

2013 (Dec)

2014 (Dec)

2015 (Dec)

2016 (Dec)

2017 (Jan & Dec)2018 (Nov & Dec)2019 (Nov & Dec)
Lake Bolac 7,000 1,870 35,000 ** - - ---
Lake Struan - 1,770 9,000 5,000 - 5,000 ---
Lake Beaufort - - 1,000 ** - - ---
Lake Hamilton - - 4,000 10,000 18,000 5,000 ---
Lake Pertobe - 100 1,000 - - - ---
Albert Park Lake - - 10,000 10,000 20,000 10,000 ---
Maribyrnong River-------133,00075,000
Devilbend Reservoir - - 47,000 25,000 35,000 15,000 ---
Melton Reservoir - - - 20,000 30,000 15,000 ---
Werribee River (Werribee) - - - 32,000 45,500 15,000 ---
Karkarook Lake - - - 5,000 5,000 8,000 ---
Bemm River - - - - 5,000 - 10,00015,00030,000
Lake Tyers - - - - 25,000 - 25,00040,00065,000
Snowy River-------12,50030,000
National Watersports Centre ----- 20,000 9,000--
Mordialloc Creek ----- 10,000 ---
Barwon River-------30,00032,000
Painlalac Reservoir------7,000--
Total 7,000 3,740 107,000 107,000 183,500 103,000 51,000230,500232,000

** Not stocked due to low water levels.

These waters were selected from a longer list by fisheries managers and scientists, with help from anglers too, following an evaluation of their potential.

man holding perch
Image courtesy of Lubin Pfeiffer.