Inland Estuary Perch Fisheries

Your fishing licence fees at work logoVFA is developing new inland fisheries for estuary perch.

VFA recently commissioned Deakin University to assess performance of the stocking in six lakes. The survey outcomes were very promising and support anecdotal feed back of estuary perch now being caught by anglers in some lakes.

Man farming perchBaby Perch

Waters and stocking figures so far are:

Water

2012 (Jan)

2012 (Dec)

2013 (Dec)

2014 (Dec)

2015 (Dec)

2016 (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
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 -
Lake Tyers - - - - 25,000 -
National Watersports Centre




20,000
Mordialloc Creek




10,000
Total 7,000 3,740 107,000 107,000 183,500 103,000

** 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.

The project is funded by the State Government's Recreational Fishing Initiative ($100,000) and Victorian fishing licence fees ($150,000).

Lake Hamilton

man holding perch
Image courtesy Lubin Pfeiffer

In March 2000, Lake Hamilton was stocked with 1,000 estuary perch fingerlings. These fish weighed about 4 grams each and shared the lake with trout, which were stocked annually.

Relatively few of these fish have been caught, however, fisheries managers are aware of several large estuary perch captures in recent years. One fish caught by Fisheries researchers measured 47cm. Other perch weighed between 1 and 2kg and indicate that the species (a) are long lived (b) reach a good size in inland (freshwaters) over several years, and (c) can be hard to catch but remain available in the fishery for long periods.

The Great Perch Search

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

Broodfish perch are caught with the help of expert volunteer anglers from the Hopkins and Glenelg rivers during winter. This annual event has been dubbed 'The Great Perch Search'. Fisheries 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.

Estuary perch video transcript