Proposed changes to trial a fixed river marker in Lake Eildon

Introduction

In 2016, the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) consulted with recreational anglers and removed the closed Murray cod closed season at Lake Eildon.

The change has been a huge success and provided keen cod fishers with a destination during September, October, and November each year when other cod waters are closed.

Removing the Murray cod closed season at Lake Eildon has delivered year-round fishing opportunities consistent with the State Government’s plan to get more people fishing, more often through its $35 million Go Fishing Victoria plan.

Lifting the Murray cod closed season at Lake Eildon has also shifted fishing pressure from rivers, where Murray cod naturally breed and allow them to ‘have a rest when they’re on the nest’, consistent with the Care for Cod Campaign.

The case to trial a fixed river marker in Lake Eildon

VFA have received requests from anglers to trial a fixed marker in the Goulburn arm of Lake Eildon to better define the lake and the river during the Murray cod closed season, and to reduce confusion and conflict amongst anglers, who care for Murray cod.

On 18 June 2022, VFA fisheries managers, researchers, Murray cod fishing opinion leaders and local recreational fishers recently met at Snobs Creek Fish Hatchery to discuss the requests in more detail.

The meeting was informed by strong management and scientific presentations, yielded constructive discussion and ultimately consensus support for 1) a fixed marker to be trialled in the Goulburn arm of Lake Eildon and 2) for the fixed marker to be located at the Jamieson boat ramp.

This location is preferred because it is a known fixed landmark that provides clarity to both boat-based and bank-based anglers on the river-lake boundary.

It also provides bank fishing options downstream of the boat ramp in the lake, whilst encouraging anglers to give Murray cod ‘a rest when they are on the nest’ during the riverine closed season upstream of the marker – consistent with the Care for Cod Campaign.

It is proposed the fixed marker be trialled over a 12-month period via a Fisheries Notice, commencing prior to the riverine closed season for Murray cod this year on 1 September 2022.

The trial will also apply to the salmonid closed season and is expected to provide clarity on the river-lake boundary for trout fishers also.

The trial will be supported with strong communication through a webpage, social media, flyers and signage on-site.

The VFA will monitor the trial through angler feedback to Fisheries Officers, email and social media, and will review the trial with anglers in 12 months’ time.

How to have your say

The VFA is now seeking recreational fisher input on a fisheries notice proposal to trial a fixed marker in the Goulburn arm of Lake Eildon to better define the lake and the river during the Murray cod and trout closed seasons, and to reduce confusion and conflict amongst anglers, who care for Murray cod.

To make a submission on the proposal, please email haveyoursay@vfa.vic.gov.au by 5pm Sunday 31 July 2022.

The VFA have also formally written to key recreational fishing groups relating to this proposal, including VRFish, Futurefish Foundation, Native Fish Australia, Australian Trout Foundation and the Howqua Association of Angling Clubs.

For further information, please feel free to call or email Taylor Hunt, Acting Manager Freshwater Fisheries on 0418 478 028 or taylor.hunt@vfa.vic.gov.au