Benefiting our local waterways and making sure keen anglers have something to catch.
Five hundred tagged rainbow trout were released on Wednesday, June 17 into Lake Wallace followed by another 500 into Lake Lyell on June, 24.
Originally, the fish were set to be released three months ago but were held back thanks to COVID-19 travel restrictions, according to Wallerawang branch of the Central Acclimatisation Society (CAS) secretary Ray Tang.
The tagged trout came from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Dutton Trout Hatchery and were deliberately grown out as part of the NSW Trout Strategy for the fight against Redfin predation.
"This is only the second time ever that we have released tagged trout into our local waterways," Tang said.
Tang said fingerling trout about 100 to 150mm in numbers of between 2000 and 5000 would normally be released each year.
"However, since the illegal introduction of Redfin, we have noticed a dramatic decline in the local recreational trout fishery, showing less numbers of fish fingerling survival rates and a reduction of angler catch rates," he said.
Tang said various tagged fish of recorded sizes were now released and if recaptured, anglers could report the tags back to the DPI.
Not only do they receive a special lure for their efforts, it also provides the DPI with important data.- Wallerawang CAS secretary Ray Tang
"Not only do they receive a special lure for their efforts, it also provides the DPI with important data.
"This includes growth rates and food resources within our lakes and what the best minimum size trout is that can be released into Redfin infected waterways for the best survival," he said.
He said the recapture data also provided recreational angler catch effort which helps with calculating future stocking numbers.
"There is a fine line between a fishery that consistently produces good size fish against a fishery that is over stocked and produces consistent small sized fish, or worse a lake that produces nothing - particularly if a waterway is to compete against noxious pests such as Redfin."
Tang hoped to continued these stockings in the area in the years to come.
"Hopefully we can start seeing some positive results in the future towards sustainable fishery ways within our areas," he said.
He noted it was preferable for anglers to catch, record tagged fish on the DPI website and then release. He said when entering the region, it did not matter as the tag number would determine the location.
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