(This grant is funded by Recreational Fishers’ Licence Fees)

The Victorian Fishing Authority gave trout fishers a huge vote of confidence when it delegated responsibility to the Australian Trout Foundation Vic (ATF) to manage and administer the funds that will be required to continue the current Wild Trout Management Program, plus additional priority actions contained in the recently distributed Victorian Wild Trout Strategy. The considerable advice and assistance provided by VFA’s Inland Fisheries Managers to the ATF in preparation of the grant submission is greatly appreciated.

The ATF is the recognized representative body for trout fishers and it will be calling on its group of passionate volunteers for assistance to carry out a number of important priority actions that will be funded by the grant monies. Some of these priority actions are listed here for your information:

  • Continue the assessment of the Jordan Scotty incubators and stocking “wild fry” as a trout population recovery tool. Unfortunately, volunteers are unable to assist loading incubators and releasing fry this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Identify locations for priority trout streams where riparian shade planting will maximise benefits to trout fisheries. Dr John Morrongiello will use the latest science to help prioritise locations alongside CMA and angler preferences. Anglers can become engaged by reporting locations that require riparian revegetation projects.
  • Collect stream temperature data on priority trout rivers and make this information widely available to trout fishers via the ATF website and a new ATF App. The ATF, VFA & CMA’s working together to upgrade up to 10 recording stations.
  • Roll out a pilot program that enables angling clubs to manage/care for crown land river frontages. ATF, VFA & CMA’s to work with DELWP to facilitate up to 4 pilot licence agreements for crown land frontages. Angler engagement by taking responsibility to manage and repair riparian land to improve fishing outcomes.
  • ATF & CMA’s to host 2 regional workshops per year. Following on from 3 previous successful workshops, CMA’s and trout fishers to identify locations where revegetation will most benefit trout fisheries. Trout fishers can also advise on access problems.
  • Promote sustainable trout fishing and sensitive harvesting practices. ATF and anglers to develop a pamphlet and videos to promote responsible trout fishing and handling practices.
  • The link for the Victorian Wild Trout Strategy: https://atfonline.com.au/home/page/Wild-Trout-Strategy
  • To our volunteers, we are looking forward to when we can meet again to continue working together with you and CMA’s on river health restoration projects. Two major “trees for trout” planting days at the Steavenson & Ovens Rivers were cancelled, but GBCMA & NECMA made sound management decisions and have engaged contractors to plant the trees so as not to lose a year’s growth rate.

There are many habitat restoration projects currently on the drawing board and more in planning, so when the 2021 planting season arrives next Autumn, please be assured the volunteer army will be overburdened with “trees for trout” days in all regions. If you are not on the volunteer list, please feel free to register by emailing your contact details to: habitat@atfonline.com.au

In closing, reports from most trout regions augers well for some great fishing and we trust all will enjoy some successful fishing trips this season. We do feel for our members and volunteers in the Upper Murray and East Gippsland catchments and trust your streams will make speedy recoveries.