Golden tag competition

Win $10,000 and help fire affected communities in Victoria

In response to the devastating bushfires and their impact on regional tourism businesses, the Victorian Fisheries Authority has established a tag-recapture competition that will encourage recreational fishers to return to East Gippsland and North East Victoria.

Recreational fishing in Gippsland and the north east is worth more than $600 million annually, supports over 3,800 jobs and is a major contributor to regional communities that depend on tourism.

Due to the devastating bushfire season Victoria's experiences, these communities have been doing it tough through January with visitor numbers down substantially during what is normally their busiest time of the year.

We want to get recreational fishers of all abilities back to East Gippsland and the north east with their families and friends, spending money and helping local communities get back on their feet.

As part of the golden tag competition, we're tagging black bream, dusky flathead and King George whiting in East Gippsland, and in the north east, Murray cod, brown trout and rainbow trout.

The first 10 tagged fish to be reported caught by fishers after the competition begins will earn the lucky fisher a $10,000 cheque, with tagged fish beyond the first 10 to be awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

The competition will bring people back to towns like Mallacoota, Cann River, Bemm River, Orbost, Marlo, Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers, Omeo, Dartmouth, Mitta Mitta, Corryong, Tallangatta and Bright.

All these places are well known for their inland and estuarine fishing, boasting terrific opportunities for shore-based and boat-based fishers of all skill levels.

Details and rules

For a full list of frequently asked questions, click here.

When does the competition start?

The competition will begin in the coming months, dependent on conditions in bushfire affected areas, with a start date to be set in consultation with Visit Victoria. We still have areas that are closed to public access and active fires so will be waiting till all areas are safe to access.

We will publish the dates via our social media channels and on this page once they are set.

How long will the competition go for?

The competition will run for 12 months from the official start date of the competition.

When will you start tagging fish?

The VFA has commenced tagging and will complete this task over the coming weeks prior to the competition start.

What species will be tagged?

In East Gippsland, black bream, dusky flathead, tailor and King George whiting will be tagged. In the North East, keep an eye out for Murray cod, brown trout and rainbow trout.

Where are the tagged fish?

They’ll be around communities including:

  • Mallacoota
  • Cann River
  • Bemm River
  • Orbost
  • Marlo
  • Lakes Entrance
  • Lake Tyers
  • Omeo
  • Darthmouth
  • Mitta Mitta
  • Corryong
  • Tallangatta
  • Bright

How do the prizes work?

To win one of the prizes up for grabs, you'll need to catch a fish with a golden tag and report the details of your catch, with photo evidence, to the Victorian Fisheries Authority (see ‘how do I claim a prize’ below). The first ten fishers to catch a fish with a golden tag and report it will win a $10,000 prize. All tagged fish caught and reported after these first ten will be worth $2,000 each for the duration of the promotion.

How do I claim a prize?

If you catch a tagged fish, first record the fish’s length. Photograph the fish with the tag still in place (make sure you take a secondary close-up photo of the tag which clearly shows the number), then remove the tag (cut it off carefully close to the fish’s skin) and keep it in a safe place. Contact the Victorian Fisheries Authority on 03 9658 4737, and provide your name, contact details, tag number, species of fish, waterway, location the fish was caught and overall length.

Do I have to keep my fish to claim a prize?

No, you’re welcome to catch and release if you wish, or if the fish is undersize or oversize (dusky flathead and Murray Cod). Before releasing your catch, take a photo of the fish with the tag still in place. Also make sure you take a secondary close-up photo of the tag which clearly shows the number. Don’t forget to remove the tag from the fish prior to release as well!

For a full list of frequently asked questions, click here.

Click here for the full terms and conditions of the Golden Tag competition.