Wet spring triggers summer waterway boom
Water for the Environment Update: Summer 2023
The value of a wet spring is clearly on show with a growing number of keen anglers taking to social media to share their love of the region’s top fishing and yabbying spots.
The Wimmera River system’s indigenous fish are generally be divided into two communities:
- Upper catchment – River Blackfish, Obscure Galaxias and Southern Pygmy Perch
- Lower catchment – Australian Smelt and Flat-headed Gudgeon.
There are non-indigenous native Murray River species, including the large-bodied Freshwater Catfish, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, and Murray Cod. These native fish have been translocated or stocked into the system, largely for recreational fishing, for many decades. Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) also releases large numbers of these angler-target species.
Continuing to build the Wimmera’s fish stocks
Indigenous fish breeding events are complemented by fish stocking carried out by the VFA. For more information on the type and location, search for Grampians fish stocking at www.vfa.vic.gov.au.
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in collaboration with local anglers has recently completed a Wimmera Native Fish Management Plan which aims to increase:
- The diversity and resilience of native fish.
- Regional investment in fish management.
- Angling opportunities.
Wimmera fishing comps & Expo
Horsham, Jeparit and Grampians Lakes Fishing Competition are planned, and give a great insight into the fish caught in the region. Follow their Facebook pages for the latest updates!
- Regional Vic Fish Expo, Horsham: February 18 & 19
- Horsham Fishing Competition: Sunday March 12.
- Grampians Lakes Fishing Competition & Vic Fish Kids Lake Fyans: April 22 & 23, hosted by Stawell and District Angling Club.
- Jeparit Easter Fishing Competition: Easter Saturday, April 8, hosted by Jeparit Anglers Club.
Wimmera angling clubs also host regular fishing competitions, and are a great place to start if you’re keen to wet a line!
Small base flows and ‘freshes’ in stretches of the Wimmera River, Mt William Creek, McKenzie River and Burnt Creek will maintain water quality and connectivity between areas and support healthy fish populations.
Nathan Koenig and his son Bryce from the Just My Luck Fishing YouTube channel are among anglers who appreciate the work that goes into managing the Wimmera River, including releases of water for the environment to complement natural flows and support fish populations.
“The environmental flows for the Wimmera River are important for each and every community along its banks. Fresh water and flowing rivers help the native fish spawn to ensure great fishing for years to come. Fishing in the Wimmera River draws people to the region and in turn creates more tourism dollars for our local businesses. A healthy river helps drive healthy tourism.” Nathan Koenig
Wetlands are being monitored to determine if any environmental flows are required over the next few months.
Want to be updated on flows?
Wimmera CMA offers an SMS service to let people know when and where environmental flows are occurring, what they aim to achieve, and flow rates. To sign up, send an SMS with the word ‘Register’ and your full name and locality to 0427 871 565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org