Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Goulburn River a top spot

Fishers have voted Eildon Reservoir and the Goulburn River as Victoria's top spots for angling.

November 13, 2012 4:06am

Lake Eildon and the Goulburn River have been voted by recreational fishers as the most popular freshwater fishing spots in Victoria.

But they’re not happy with blackberries and other invasive vegetation along the river banks.

State Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said more than 4500 Victorian fishers revealed their favourite fishing spots in a DPI survey.

‘‘It will come as no surprise to many fishers that Lake Eildon was voted the most popular lake for recreational fishing, followed by Lake Eppalock, Lake Hume and the Eildon Pondage,” Mr Walsh said.

‘‘The Goulburn River was the most popular river location followed by the Howqua River near Sheepyard Flats, the Ovens River near Bundalong and the Yarra River near Wonga Park.’’

The main reasons for selecting their preferred location was familiarity, followed by a preference for the place.

The most common suggestions for improving the habitat were to ‘‘improve water flows and levels that benefit fish’’ and removal of undesirable bank-side vegetation, including blackberries.

The three most preferred river catch species were rainbow trout (53.6 per cent), brown trout (53.3 per cent) and redfin (48.1 per cent).

Mr Walsh said more than 40 per cent of respondents headed to Victoria’s north-east to fish, making it by far the most popular inland fishing destination in the state.

For lakes, the most preferred fishing location was the Goulburn-Broken catchment with 30 per cent of fishers, followed by the north-central catchment at 18 per cent of fishers.

The most popular suggestions for habitat improvement were to ‘‘improve access for land-based fishing, for example, trails, and fence styles’’ and to ‘‘improve water flows and levels that benefit fish’’.

Generally the survey also found that recreational fishers’ preferred species were redfin (in lakes), rainbow trout in rivers and bream in estuaries.

Through the survey responses, more than 600 fishers have volunteered to get involved in fish habitat and population monitoring projects.

Mr Walsh said the results of the survey would be used to direct future Recreational Fishing Initiative investment priorities, like fish stocking and access and amenity upgrades.

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