Loddon (South)



Kennington Reservoir

Loddon River basin has been divided into two sections, north and south, for better map presentation.

The southern area of the Loddon River Basin (upper reaches to Serpentine) is mostly gentle to moderate hilly terrain, 300 to 741 m in altitude and of sedimentary and granitic origin. There is also some flat farmland with volcanic rock in the Tullaroop and McCallum Creek catchments. Land use is mostly grazing with numerous scattered areas of mixed species forest. Rock, rubble and gravel are common substrates in the waterways.

Mean annual rainfall is high (700-1,000 mm) in the upper reaches of the Loddon River system but decreases downstream to only 400-500 mm north of Bendigo. Flow from the upper tributaries is sufficient to maintain water in the three large reservoirs on the Loddon River system (Tullaroop, Cairn Curran and Laanecoorie). These together with numerous other smaller reservoirs provide excellent fishing opportunities mostly for redfin, golden perch, rainbow trout and brown trout. Groundwater is fresh to brackish although there is some saline water northeast of Bendigo and around Lexton.

Surface waters are mostly fresh (<800 EC) but some streams such as Bet Bet and Tullaroop Creek can have marginal salinities (800-2400 EC) at times.

Fishing Opportunities and Access Maps

Freshwater Fish in the Basin

Native species

  • (Large fish): Golden perch, bony bream, Murray cod, Murray spiny crayfish, *freshwater catfish, #silver perch.
  • (Small fish): Australian smelt, blackfish, flathead gudgeon, and mountain galaxias.

Introduced species

  • Brown trout, European carp, goldfish, eastern gambusia, rainbow trout, redfin, tench and roach.

Native species in bold are protected in this Basin. Introduced species in bold are declared noxious.

* Freshwater catfish reported in Goldfield Reservoir and the Loddon River in this Basin pre 2000 but current status unknown.

# Silver perch were reported in the Loddon River in this Basin pre 1981 but are unlikely to still occur. Because of the limitations of sampling methods used, and the survey schedule, small fish may be more common and widespread than recorded.


Boatramp at Cairn Curran Reservoir

See Introduction for information on management agencies and programs.

Victorian Fisheries Authority

- manages stocking, fisheries policy, compliance with fisheries regulations and angler contact

  • Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) (a recent project that provides recreational anglers, government agencies and other stakeholders with clear guidance on fisheries management issues with a regional area over a five year period).
    Victorian Fisheries Authority will develop a FMP for waters with this Basin in the future.
  • Stocking Program (stocking plans for desirable species are based on an approved Victorian Fisheries Authority stocking policy and reviewed annually via Vic Fish Stock).
    Barkers Creek Reservoir, Bullarto Reservoir, Cairn Curran Reservoir, Calembeen Lake, Cosgrave Lake, Dean Reservoir, Goldfield Reservoir, Hepburn Lagoon, Jubilee Lake, Kennington Reservoir, Laanecoorie Reservoir, Newlyn Reservoir, St. Georges Lake, Talbot Reservoir, Tom Thumb Lake, Tullaroop Reservoir and Wombat Reservoir are stocked with trout.
    Cairn Curran Reservoir, Crusoe Reservoir, Expedition Pass Reservoir, Goldfield Reservoir, Laanecoorie Reservoir, Tullaroop Creek and the Loddon River, are stocked with native fish. Refer to angling waters for details.
    Up to date information on numbers and size of each species stocked can be found under Fish Stocking in the Fisheries and Aquaculture section of this website or in the annual Vic Fish Stock Report published by the department.
  • Family Fishing Lakes Program (an ongoing project of stocking small waters within urban areas with larger trout, for junior and disabled anglers, see Introduction). There are six Family Fishing Lakes; Jubilee Lake, Glenlyon Dam, Forest Lake, Tom Thumb Lake, Calembeen Lake and Kennington Reservoir. See details in angling waters.
  • Premier Lakes (Five Family Fishing Lakes in the State have been selected as Premier Lakes. They will have easy access for all anglers and be provided with facilities such as toilets, BBQ's, picnic tables and playground equipment to encourage families and new anglers to go fishing. They will be stocked with large {>1 kg} rainbow trout, see Introduction). The Premier Lakes in this Basin are Jubilee Lake and Kennington Reservoir.
  • Victorian Stream Classification (a project that was completed in November 2010, which classifies each water as a native, salmonid or mixed fishery). Classifications relevant to this basin are:
    • Trout - Lakes and impoundments including Kennington, Tullaroop, Dean, Talbot, Cosgrave, Bullarto, Wombat, Newlyn reservoirs Hepburn Lagoon and Barkers Creek (Harcourt Reservoir) and Lake Jubilee.
    • Mixed - Cairn Curran Reservoir. Tullaroop Creek system south of Tullaroop Reservoir.
    • Native - Loddon River and tributaries north of and including Laanecoorie Reservoir and Expedition Pass Reservoir. Loddon River and tributaries between Laanecoorie and Cairn Curran. All other waters north of Calder Highway.

North Central Catchment Management Authority

- is responsible for catchment management and the Victorian River Health Program.

  • Victorian River Health Program (an on-going state government initiative to achieve healthy rivers, streams and floodplains). There has been increased environmental flow in some reaches of the Loddon River under the Environmental Water Reserve Program; also restoration of instream habitat in the Loddon River (upstream and downstream of Cairn Curran Reservoir), in Birch Creek and Tullaroop Creek.

Goulburn Murray Rural Water

- manages irrigation, domestic and stock and bulk water supply services, also development of Stream Flow Management Plans.

  • Stream Flow Management Plans (an ongoing project in which various agencies and water user's develop a flow sharing arrangement which ensures an adequate environmental flow allocation for each river in Victoria). None developed in this Basin.

Coliban Water

- manages urban supply from all waters except the upper reaches of the Loddon River and Dean, Bullarto, Cosgrave, Hepburn, Talbot and Wombat reservoirs that are managed by Central Highlands Water. Crusoe Reservoir is managed by the City of Greater Bendigo.

Best Fishing Waters

Loddon River at Bridgewater Weir Murray cod, golden perch
Cairn Curran Reservoir Redfin, brown trout, golden perch
Newlyn Reservoir Brown trout
Hepburn Lagoon Brown trout, rainbow trout
Barkers Creek Reservoir Brown trout, rainbow trout
Serpentine Weir Golden perch
Jubilee Lake Rainbow trout
Kennington reservoir Rainbow trout

Special Values

Representative Rivers

McCallum Creek is listed as a Representative River for West Victorian dissected uplands, volcanic plains.

Threatened Species

Four species in this Basin (Murray cod, silver perch Murray spiny Crayfish and freshwater catfish) are threatened species in Victoria. The list of Victorian threatened species, with their national conservation value, scientific names and explanation of their conservation status category, is available on the DSE web site (Department of Sustainability and Environment [DSE] Dec 2007).

Species in bold type and the Lowland Riverine Fish Community of the Southern Murray-Darling Basin are also listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.) and cannot be taken or kept without an order, licence or permit. Such an order has been made by the Governor in Council allowing anglers to take Murray cod and Murray spiny crayfish.