SRFR Meeting #56 - 13 September 2019

10:10 am MEETING OPEN -  Julia MenziesRoundtable Chairman

Welcome, apologies, introduction of guests.

Previous Roundtable actions/ Follow up.


Better Boating Victoria (Gary) be requested to attend the next Roundtable meeting to present on the implementation of the government's boating election commitments

Craig Ingram

NEW ACTIONS – Arising from Meeting #56 –13th September 2019

A survey/review of each meeting is to be undertaken for feedback from members

Julia Menzies / Julie Morgan

A key agenda item is to be formulated to be the main focus for meetings

Julia Menzies

Circulate Port Philip Bay flathead paper to members

Anthony Forster

Minutes from Meeting #55 accepted.

Craig Ingram & Dallas D’Silva  – VFA – Election Commitments and RFL Update

An extraordinary meeting of the SRFR is scheduled for next Tuesday 17th September.

The Marine Fisheries Legislation Review passed through the Lower House of State Parliament this week. This legislation includes the Gippsland Lakes Commercial Netting buyout.

The Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Bill which was passed through the Lower House of State Parliament this week has provision to allow for Port Phillip Bay commercial licences to select an earlier transition to non-net fishing .

A number of water reservoirs have been opened to kayak and canoe access, including Upper Coliban, Malmsbury and Lauriston reservoirs, and Hepburn Lagoon.

Work has started on crown land frontage access on the Goulburn, with proposed mandating of fishing and camping access.

As a part of Target One Million – Phase 2, a number of metropolitan lakes have now been stocked with native fish, with more planned into the future.

“Fishing” car and trailer number plates are now available through VicRoads from $495.

Work has commenced on the T1M tourism plan.

The TEP review is currently being drafted.

The transition to free public boat ramps, as covered by Better Boating Victoria, is almost complete with the final announcement in the near future.

Karen Rees, Cara Cummings, Kelly Dirks, Michelle Jackman & Niki Duckstein - WIRF Leadership Program

There are now 16 WIRF Leaders following 8 new members winning a scholarship to attend the AFTA Trade Fair. The trip provided the ladies with great exposure to the recreational fishing industry where they were able to review many topics including employment opportunities and challenges faced by women who participate in rec fishing.

Our ladies also attended the gala dinner where they were able to make a presentation from which they received a lot of positive feedback. Jo Larkin, a member of the leaders group, has even appeared on ABC Radio giving an interview about WIRF and the AFTA trip.

WIRF members have spoken at “Ladies Nights” at Geelong, Ballarat and Eildon.

Belinda Yim – VFA Events

Members were presented with a copy of the VFA events calendar to the end of 2019 to enable everyone to know when and where events were happening.

Upcoming Vic Fish Kids events will be held at Seymour on 6th October and Shepparton on 7th December as a part of the Cod Festival weekend.

The Eildon Boat Show will be conducted at the top of the dam wall on 11-13th October.

Gone Fishing Day on 20th October once again brings the Hooked on Bellarine festival at Portarlington with fun for all, as well as a Beach Fishing Day at Inverloch.

Conference season is coming up starting with the Talking Snapper talk night at Frankston on 30th October. Talk Wild Trout returns to Mansfield on 23rd November. And “Codference” will be a major part of the Cod Festival in Shepparton on 8th December.

A special Gone Fishing Day Grant is now available for the purchase of fishing rods for angling clubs wanting funding to hold events on GFD. Applications can be made through Smarty Grants via the VFA link:

Ray Buckland - ATF

The ATF are growing and evolving into a group that is about protecting not only trout but a range of other animal life. Concentrating to a greater degree on habitat and riparian planting and the breeding of wild trout as shown with the Scotty Jordan work. There is a high participation by volunteers in all the work that they perform and numbers continue to grow.

The Scotty Jordan incubators have been placed in 4 locations – the Macalister River (93% success rate), Queens Creek, Upper Dargo and the Jamieson. Long term survival is at this stage uncertain.

Over 2300 trees have been planted in riparian restoration work this year.

The group were honored to receive a nomination in this years Landcare Awards.

Tim Curmi - NFA

Macquarie Perch hatchery

  • Continue to grow Macquarie perch fingerling on artificial diet – now only fed on pellets.  Fish continue to grow well with many over 5 cm and over 200 remaining. Has used more than 260 volunteer hours
  • Have submitted new ethics permit for next 3 years and new agreement to take water from the Yarra River.
  • Preparing hatchery with a number of member working bees
  • Last year more than 500 volunteer hours.

New Hatchery

  • Discussions with La Trobe Uni progressing well
  • Have support from the wildlife sanctuary & a number of academics
  • Likely to be sited close to the wildlife sanctuary
  • Will allow us to expand our hatchery activities with potential work with the Growling Grass frog and a number of small bodied endangered native fish.

North East Link

  • Recently gave evidence at the public enquiry.  Voiced concerns around the potential effects of the project on the Macquarie perch and Australian Grayling population in the Yarra River.

Southern Pygmy Perch breeding program

  • Have produced first batch of fry – many more to come in the next few weeks.
  • Application to TEP to release into Bendigo Creek and other waterways
  • Developing a program with the City of Dandenong “Fish in Schools” using SPP

Endangered Native Fish Resources

  • NSW DPI producing great resources around endangered native fish – fridge magnets, information guides, handing out circle hooks….
  • Would be great to have similar in Victoria
  • Care for cod seems to have finished?

Talks to Angling clubs & Displays

  • Have recently talked at 3 events with a number booked in
  • Had live fish display (Macquarie perch) at Hurstbridge Wattle Festival & at Goulburn Fishing Festival
  • “Bringing back the endangered Macquarie perch” talk at ANGFA convention

Trout cod

  • At 4*4 show and Goulburn Fishing festival many enquiries around a recreational fishery for Trout cod

Snobs Creek Logging

  • Recent meeting with VicForests and local DELWP to discuss logging in the Snobs Creek Catchment
  • Argued for cessation of logging in lower catchment to protect water quality
  • Still waiting for water quality results for Snobs Creek


  • Current review by independent consultant
  • No report yet – hopefully made public when released

Darling Fish Kills

  • Have been contacted by a farmer on the Darling River with concerns of new fish kill.  Has found many dead large Murray cod.
  • NFA (Vic) working with directly with NSW Fisheries & hope to sent a number of members to Darling River to assist with the rescue operation.

Murray cod regulations – Queensland

  • Disappointed to see the recent removal of maximum size limit of 110cm.  Is now only a minimum size of 60cm and a possession limit of 2 fish.

Spotted Tree Frog

  • Meeting soon to develop a recovery plan
  • Many stakeholders including NFA (Vic), ATF, ANGFA, Melbourne Uni, Zoos Victoria

Mike Burgess – VRFish

A membership and constitution review has been conducted to allow VRFish to meet the needs and aspirations of Victorian fishers. Membership of VRFish continues to grow with over 80 fishing clubs representing 6000+ fishers. It is felt that the increase has been brought about by enhanced consultation and engagement.

There are now 53,000 subscribers to VRFish media. We are keeping the fishing community well informed about issues that are important to fishers, promotion of sustainability and best practice, and promotion of our sector. The engagement model is to inform, consult, involve, collaborate and empower.

The Angler Riparian Partnership Program has included VRFish involvement with 2 projects with the Corrangamite CMA involving 7 clubs and the planting of 5300 trees.

Working with Deakin Uni in the promotion of the Living Shellfish Reefs program.

A 6-page submission has been made in response to the Draft Marine & Coastal Policy.

Although Lake Bullen Merri appears to have had a 0 catch rate fore the past 6 months, the VFA has located fish in this water.

There have been issues with gaining access for small boats at lakes that have been declared open for same.

The Murray cod Survey has had 663 responses, indicating strong awareness of size and bag limits and a good awareness of the Care for Cod campaign.

VRFish is currently working on joint management plans for National Parks, the code of practice for timber production, the Freshwater Fisheries Management Plan implementation, and the Darling River lack of water.

Mitch McMaster – FishCare

Fishcare have received funding to support their “All Abilities” fishing program.

Work is being done to build partnerships around the state with groups such as Ausfish.

VRFish are diversifying into a wider range of activities for volunteers to participate in. These include habitat work and fish monitoring.

Jacinta Early, Fishcare’s Melbourne Facilitator, has moved on and so the transition to the new facilitator is in progress.

Marc Ainsworth - Communications Officer VFA

The VFA is using a higher quality of communications marketing for larger events such as the Goulburn Fishing Festival and the Ballarat Fishing Festival. Short AVs have been made of the benefits that the “stonker stocking” of ex-brood stock into the Goulburn have had for the region.

Anthony Forster – Manager – Freshwater Fisheries

  • Good numbers of viable brown and rainbow trout have been bred this season. School holiday stockings are almost complete.
  • The “stonkers” stocked into the Goulburn have been a great opportunity for the Eildon region and have provided the ability to catch a fish of a lifetime. Socio-economic data is currently being collated.
  • The hatchery on the Back Eildon Road has been leased by the VFA and should allow for the production of an extra 500,000 trout per season.
  • Steve Vidler has been contracted to work at Snobs Creek over the summer period to oversee the native fish breeding program.
  • Eastern King prawns for stocking into Lake Tyers still have not been successful. The white spot syndrome has meant that only 2 hatcheries were available in Australia and only one of those proved suitable. The NSW hatchery is working towards viable stock.
  • The new Northern Native Fish Hatchery is coming close to the selection of land. It will be constructed $7m as a commitment from Target 1 Million – Phase 2.

Dallas D’Silva – Fisheries Regulation Review

The Fisheries Regulations Review will be released in the next few weeks for public feedback.

An RFL Review meeting will be held next Tuesday 17th September at Karstens 123 Queen Street 10am for all SRFR members.

Meeting closed 1:45pm

Next Roundtable meeting

#57 -   will be on Friday 29th November 2019 at 10:00am at Karstens Conference Rooms 123 Queen Street Melbourne.