This Guide was first published in 1976 and quickly became a bible for enthusiastic anglers keen to explore Victoria's freshwater fisheries. Revised editions were subsequently published in 1977, 1981 and 1991.

An essential handbook for the travelling angler, the Guide set a high standard for similar publications by other fisheries agencies, tourism authorities and angling journalists.

This is the second edition to be published as an on-line only guide and contains more information than ever. Linked to on-line fish stocking summaries, interactive maps and other information about freshwater fishing, it includes photographs of many of the waters it describes and the fish one can expect to catch.

Why go fishing?

A good fishing trip is when the weather is fine, the water is calm, the surroundings are pleasant and, if you catch a fish, that's a bonus. That's why over 700,000 Victorians go fishing each year although some (250,000 anglers who fish more than ten times a year) are really seriously trying to catch fish.

Results from the National Indigenous and Recreational Fishing Survey (PDF 1.9 MB) conducted in 2001 showed that 12.7% of the Victorian population over the age of 5 years fished at least once a year. As well as providing valuable, quality leisure time, for individuals, their families and their friends, fishing also brings significant economic benefit to Victoria. The results of the 2001 survey showed that Victorians spent an estimated $396 million on fishing related equipment and activities, an average of $721 per fisher.

Although some anglers are happy just to catch any fish, the species most freshwater anglers target are golden perch, Murray cod, redfin and trout.

Where can I go fishing?

The 'Guide' was first published in 1976 by the Department to answer this frequent enquiry from anglers and its objective has remained the same through four printed editions over 26 years.

The current edition includes many new smaller waters in which recreational fisheries have been established over recent years. Information on fish species in each water has been brought up to date and the most significant change has been the increased number of waters now being stocked with native fish.

For anglers who want to know more about the water they intend to fish, this edition includes much more detailed descriptions of river structure and water depths. The list of the best angling waters in each river Basin has been expanded. Some fishing tips are included to encourage anglers to try something new or to assist new anglers to get started. A more detailed description of each Basin is given as well as some details on water quality relevant to fishing.

Additional details about who manages each water and for what purpose and water diversions have been included. Some waters have been assessed by the State Government to have special conservation values as well as being important for angling. These values such as Heritage River Areas, Ramsar etc have been shown in the river Basin introductions. A significant addition is the inclusion of all fish species known to occur in each water.

The new edition is therefore not only of value to anglers but is a useful reference document for fisheries and water managers and anyone else interested in our inland waters. Some interesting facts on fish species, habitats and behaviour, which may be helpful to anglers, have also been included.

The Murray River has also been described in some detail as it is a popular angling water for many Victorians. Despite all this information, the major problem still remains with the anglers, and that is how to catch the fish. Some tips are given in special articles throughout the book but the action is now really over to you.

About the Authors

Barry Tunbridge

Worked as a marine biologist in New Zealand from 1958 to 1966. Then as a freshwater fisheries scientist in the Victorian State Government, Fisheries Division, from 1966 to 1999, first as a trout biologist and then working on environmental flow and fish habitat studies. He now works as a consultant on environmental assessments of waterways affected by farm dam proposals. Lives in Melbourne and his hobbies are fishing, reading and golf.

Peter Rogan

Worked in the Victorian State Government, Fisheries Division, from 1964 to 1997 in the fields of native fish research, environmental impact assessment and inland fisheries management. Now works as a consultant in the fields of inland fisheries and integrated catchment management. Lives in Melbourne and takes a strong interest in bushwalking and conservation issues.


Charles Barnham, a co-author of the previous edition of this guide, was unable to assist in the writing of this edition due to long term health problems which eventually caused his death in April 2003. His substantial contribution to the fourth edition is acknowledged here, as are his extensive efforts on behalf of Victorian anglers. He is missed by many.

Various department officers have assisted in providing information and we thank them all.

Information in the Inland Angling Guide

This publication may be of assistance to you, but the State of Victoria and its employees or the authors do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw or is wholly appropriate to your particular purposes and therefore disclaims liability for any error, loss or other consequences which may arise from you relying on any information in this publication.