Protecting trout and stocking at Lake Wendouree
As of 1 June 2023, a recreational fishing closed season will apply to a small area of Lake Wendouree for two months.
Click here to view a map of the closed season area, including GPS coordinates.
The trial, which will be conducted via a Fisheries Notice, aims to protect spawning trout in the small defined area, such that they can be collected by Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society (BFAS) volunteers, for breeding at the Ballarat Fish Hatchery. Juvenile trout are released into Lake Wendouree and other Victorian waters from these efforts, a practise dating back to 1870.
The trial will be supported with communication through a webpage, social media, flyers and on-site signage. The VFA will monitor the trial through BFAS numbers of spawning brown trout and angler feedback to Fisheries Officers, via email and social media. The VFA will review the trial with anglers annually.
For further information, please feel free to call or email Taylor Hunt, Fisheries Manager on 0418 478 028 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake Wendouree is one of our most productive trout fishing lakes in Victoria and is stocked annually with trout from the BFAS Ballarat Fish Hatchery and Snobs Creek Hatchery.
In October 2022, the BFAS wrote to the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) seeking a temporary closure to 200m section of Lake Wendouree adjacent to the hatchery outfall pipe, to protect the spawning trout that congregate in the pipeline flow.
The BFAS have concerns over declining numbers of spawning brown trout which have been collected in this location for many years, impacting their ability to produce and supply trout to replenish Lake Wendouree and other Victorian waters, for recreational fishing purposes.
The VFA met with BFAS in December 2022, inspected the 200m site and believe the introduction of a 2-month fishing exclusion area will have no negative impact for recreational fishers, but rather assist with security of fish production and stocking for recreational fishing benefit in Lake Wendouree.
The VFA sought broader recreational fisher input on a fisheries notice proposal to implement the recreational fishing closed season to a small area of Lake Wendouree by writing to key stakeholder groups and inviting their feedback. This included VRFish, Ballarat and District Angling Association, the Australian Trout Foundation, City of Ballarat and key recreational fishers.
The consultation has now been completed resulting in strong support for the proposal. Based on this feedback, the VFA has issued the Fisheries Notice to implement a recreational fishing closed season to a small area of Lake Wendouree for two months.