SRFR Meeting #45 - 25 November 2016

Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable Forum #45

Forum date: Friday November 25th 2016
Location: Fisheries Victoria, Level 15, 1 Spring St., Melbourne. 3000

Chair's Summary

Key discussion items from State-wide Roundtable meeting #45

  1. Update of activities of Native Fish Australia.
  2. Update of activities of Australian Trout Foundation. 
  3. VRFish activities and emerging recreational fishing issues, challenges and opportunities.
  4. Update of Target $1M.
  5. Update of Victorian freshwater fishing activities. 
  6. Update of the establishment of the Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Tim Curmi – President, Native Fish Australia (Vic)

Tim provided an update on NFA projects and activities:

  • Macquarie perch / Hatchery – update of NFA hatchery activities and the lack of suitable broodstock due to extended high river levels.
  • Victorian Inland Fisheries Alliance (VIFA) introduction and how NFA are working closely with the ATF.
  • Native Fish Challenge – a catch, measure and release competition that has been running for 23 years and involves a number of Victorian clubs. The Native Fish Challenge provides great source of scientific angling data.
  • NFA are involved with new Yarra Act to review management of health and wellbeing of the river. An update was provided and information of how NFA (Vic) have been involved in the community meetings.
    New project with the City of Bendigo where NFA are planning to reintroduce small native fish into Bendigo Creek, and our aim to breed and reintroduce Southern pygmy perch.
  • Update of NFA representation on numerous committees including the Macalister Environmental Water Advisory Group. There was a brief discussion on the Macalister's ecological health and the unlikely hood that Australian Bass will naturally recruit in the system.
  • Metropolitan Stocking – very slow progress due to environmental and access issues. These issues need to be resolved for target 1 million.
  • Management of Yarra River – reports of Cod and Macquarie perch taken out of season & under limits. We believe needs more education & enforcement.
  • Seasonal closure of Ovens River – continue to push as we believe important to protect breeding endangered native fish.
  • Stream Classification – needs an update involving same groups as involved in initial drafting. Stream classification was done by the Vic Govt circa 10 years ago with classifications of native, trout and mixed.
  • Set baseline and interaction of groups are valuable tools for stocking. Should be reviewed and be part of the sunset clause.
  • Metropolitan areas have been stocked since 1980s. Some areas not stocked due to environmental issues. These issues need to be resolved.

Terry George – Australian Trout Foundation

Terry reported on the following wild trout fishery activities:

  • Important strategies to undertake include habitat and riparian advances, and enhancing stocking.
  • Dr Amber Clarke, DELWP is working with angling clubs and CMS partnerships to identify habitat and riparian projects.
  • Terry recommended the use "adopt a stream" concept. For example:
    • Owens River restoration at Harrietville.
    • West Kiewa – CMA
    • Ovens – Landcare 
    • Little Snowy – VRFish
    • Mitta Mitta – RTF
    • Lower Goulburn – NFA
    • Hughs Creek – ACS
    • Dalatite River
  • He advised that further incubator trials have been agreed on with The Victorian Fisheries Authority for next year.
  • Macalister River – questioned if this stocking is a success.
  • Terry reiterated that habitat is the most important issue and that finance is needed.

Rob Loats – VRFish

Rob reported on the following:

  • VRFish represented anglers at fish stocking meeting at Ballarat, and participated in the event to celebrate Toolondo.
  • VRFish is currently working on initiative with NCCMA to install fish screen to stop fish going into irrigation channels.
  • Rob listed the events and projects that VRFish have been involved in through 2016.
  • Steve Relf is the interim Executive Officer due to Dallas's appointment to The Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Anthony Forster – Target One Million (TOM)

Anthony advised the 10 TOM initiatives achieved:

  • $2000 Grants SFCG.
  • Blue Rock restrictions removed.
  • 2 x trout cod fisheries – need enhancement – woody structure.
  • PPB licence buy out – 2 remaining.
  • Toolondo.
  • Barra into Hazelwood.
  • Trout Festivals.
  • Fishing stocking to 5 million (In progress).
  • Gippsland Lakes.
  • Marine stocking.

Anthony Foster – Freshwater Fisheries Manager.

Anthony updated on freshwater fisheries matters:

  • Managing willows.
  • Trout fisheries very vulnerable to global warming / climate change.
  • Shading provides cool shelter over summer.
  • Yearling trout stocking not effective.
  • $1m partnership with CMAs.
  • Murray Codference – 11th December 2016.
    Celebration of our cod fishery.
  • Stocking Mordialloc Creek and Werribee River. Estuary perch are now in Werribee for the first time since early 1900s.

Alex Krummel, Cristina Del Borrello, Sarah Windsor – Vic. Fisheries Authority

Alex reported the following:

  • Debate in the Legislative Assembly included discussion on timelines, costing commercial fishing sector and overall support for the VFA.
  • Greens raised issues about research, board exclusions and inclusions, the GMA model and changes.
  • In the Legislative Council the Greens raised similar points to the LA as well as the needs of consumers.
  • The State Opposition added to board proposal for skills and experiences requirements.
  • There will be 5-8 members on the VFA Board including a Dep Chair and Chair. The Board to be in place to elect CEO.
  • The VFA Bill is now an Act- - click Victorian Statute Book - 2016 and the Victorian Fisheries Authority Act 2016 is towards the bottom of the list.

The Chairman acknowledged the attendees, thanked them for their input during 2016 and passed on best wishes for Christmas and the /New year.

He further advised that meetings for 2017 will be:

  • March 17 Location -TBA
  • June 2 1 Spring St
  • September 8 1 Spring St
  • November 24 1 Spring St

Statewide Recreational Fishing Roundtable #45

Chairman: Merv McGuire
Secretariat: Julie Morgan
Summary Dated: 18 December 2016