KENNINGTON Reservoir, Forest Lake and Tom Thumb Lake are among 62 family fishing lakes stocked with 24,000 fish.
Keen to take advantage of the chance to fish so close to the city centre, the Boland family from Junortoun cast a couple of lines at Kennington Reservoir yesterday.
Macey, 10, and brother Oscar, 13, were hopeful of snaring a trout, with dad, Craig, and mum, Lisa. “I just like catching fish,” Macey said. “I hope a big one today.”
Oscar, a keen fisherlad, said he was a fan of Cod, with his favourite fishing spots of Moulamein and Birchip soon to be bumped down the line knowing a lake on his doorstep was stocked with trout, redfin and tench. “I can go after school here now, which will be great,” said Oscar, as a large trout jumped out of the water. “Dad will bring us again for the holidays, then we can come after school.”
Each year Fisheries Victoria releases up to 700,000 trout and salmon into the state’s public waterways between April and November to encourage families to fish during the school holidays. The ready-to-catch stocks are advanced yearling rainbow trout, weighing an average 180g. The statewide trout-stocking program is funded by recreational fishing licence fees and the state government’s Target One Million plan.
"Several of the lakes are in suburban Melbourne and scattered throughout Victoria in regional centres, providing a great opportunity for children to practice their skills or try fishing for the first time," Fisheries Victoria executive director Travis Dowling said. "Most of the lakes provide convenient access for families with fishing platforms, bankside tracks, picnic tables and other facilities.”
Mr Dowling said rainbow trout were a good target species for children or people new to fishing because they were relatively easy to catch and take a variety of baits and lures. About 500 fish were released into Kennington Reservoir, 200 into Forest Lake and 200 into Lake Tom Thumb.
"These holiday trout stockings support the Target One Million plan, which aims to grow recreational fishing participation to one million anglers by 2020," he said. "The plan will also boost fish stocking from three million to five million per year, improve fishing facilities and access, and support angling clubs to strengthen membership."
Mr Boland said the program made fishing convenient for families. “Knowing the lake has been stocked with good-sized fish is ideal for people closer into town – it’s closer than going to Eppalock, so will be good for kids to have a fish.”
For a list of stocked lakes in the region visit www.vic.gov.au/holidaytrout