Located just outside the Grampians, Rocklands is a vast manmade lake on the Glenelg River. This massive impoundment is full of standing timber with many arms and small feeder creeks running in. Rocklands was historically known as a great redfin lake and a place where trout could be caught, although in lesser numbers. Also noteworthy, is a small population of large Australian bass that occasionally surprises fishers.
Recognising the perfect habitat and significant food supply available in Rocklands, Fisheries has dedicated considerable resources since 2017 into making the lake a native fish hub set to rival lake Eildon. To date, over 600,000 golden perch and well over a million Murray cod have been released into this system! Murray cod have done well in the lake, as some previous unauthorised stockings have shown they grow to more than a metre in length quite fast. Golden perch are now being caught up to 1.5 kilograms and the Fisheries stocked cod are around the minimum size of 55cm. They’ll only get bigger in this exciting and emerging fishery.
Although there’s a good stretch of bank fishing available near the dam wall, a boat is necessary to reach the more remote areas of the reservoir. Boat ramps are located at Rocklands wall, Hynes, Glendinning, Fergusons and Mountain Dam. Shoreline camping is permitted in many areas making the reservoir popular during holidays. From a boat, trolling, bait fishing vertically in timber stands and casting lures is popular for all species. From the shoreline, bait fishing and lure casting is productive.
Just half an hour from Halls Gap, located on the Mackenzie River in the central Grampians, Lake Wartook is a peaceful and rather secluded lake. This makes it a great location for fishers seeking to beat the crowds in search of quality brown and rainbow trout. The water is clear for most of the year with a slight tannin stain to it due to the drowned timber. Like most trout lakes, trolling lures is popular and productive due to the clear water. Winged lures and small crank baits are effective and a paravane or downrigger helpful in warmer weather to present lures deeper. When using a boat there’s a five-knot speed limit and a boat ramp suited to craft up to five metres long is available near the dam wall. The eastern side of the lake is shallower with extensive weed beds and a good spot to cast a soft plastic or to bait fish with a mudeye under a float.
This is a great lake for shore-based fishing, and when the lake is at capacity, the east and west bank floods into low lying bushy areas and the fly-fishing can be fantastic as trout can be found in the margins feeding on drowned insects. The wall is a popular family bank fishing spot due to its proximity to the picnic facilities and car park. The fish regularly cruise the wall as well as the resident redfin schools which often hold in the slightly deeper water. For bait fishing the wall, locally sourced peeled yabby tail and Powerbait are favourites.
Click here for information on Lake Wartook ramp.
Picturesque Lake Bellfield is located just five kilometres from the town of Halls Gap on Fyans Creek in the Grampians. The lake is the local drinking water storage and boating is permitted however a restriction has been placed on petrol motors with only paddle power or electric motors allowed. This makes it ideal for kayak fishers with no wakes created from bigger craft. There’s good access along the west bank for shore fishing and a dirt ramp situated near the picnic area suitable for small craft. The lake is especially popular with fly fishers, however all techniques work here. Shallow running lures will cause less frustration as the timber areas of the lake are very snaggy. Bait fishing works well at Bellfield, especially in areas where natural inflows occur on the roadside of the lake. Due to its proximity to Halls Gap, it’s very popular for tourists to walk the dam wall and have a picnic. Bellfield has a stocking history of brown and rainbow trout and at one stage Chinook salmon, however redfin are still a regular catch. Whilst in its early stages, Lake Bellfield is a developing native fishery for stocked Murray cod and golden perch.
Click here for information on Grampians Road ramp.
Located between Stawell and Halls Gap, Lake Lonsdale is a large, shallow reservoir on the Mt William Creek. It fills from its own catchment and is reliant on natural inflows. Although the catchment can be a substantial producer of water during wet years, it isn't reliable during times of drought and can become significantly drawn down. Camping is popular with locals and the lake offers multiple sandy beaches with easy access to the water. There’s a basic boat ramp that may not always reach the water when the lake is low. The lake provides very good fishing when full but is reliant on being stocked periodically with trout as well as some natural recruitment from the Mt William Creek. More reliable is the redfin population which bounce back naturally and grow fast along with a plentiful supply of yabbies. Bait fishing with gudgeon is the most popular method that works well for both redfin and trout.
Click here for information on Marina ramp.
Located at the foot of the Grampians National Park between Stawell and Halls Gap, Lake Fyans is a relatively small man-made waterway known for its big brown trout, feisty rainbows and plentiful redfin. It offers great boat and bank fishing options, especially when water levels are above 50%. In fact, you can walk the entire shoreline of the lake (approximately 10 kilometres).
The lake has good facilities and multiple boat ramps to cater for differing water levels. Bait fishing produces nice fish and mudeye is the prime bait for trout and redfin as well as other live baits like gudgeon, all fished under a float. Trolling or casting lures early or late in the day also produces quality fish. Fishing after dark is one way to get on to bigger trout reliably. Redfin can be also be caught on small yabbies and gudgeon or trolling the edges with small minnow lures. The shallow weed lines and timbered areas are best for shore-based fishers.
Click here for information on Caravan park ramp.