FISHERIES Victoria has recently released 35,000 Australian bass into the Nicholson River for the first time. Over the next three years, a total of 100,000 bass will be stocked into the river to improve freshwater fishing opportunities.
This project has been funded by revenue from the sale of the state's recreational fishing licences and was developed in close partnership with recreational fishers and the East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
The population of Australian bass in the Nicholson River has declined over several decades, but Fisheries Victoria is confident that a healthy bass population can be rebuilt there.
Australian bass have also recently been stocked in several other Gippsland waters:
Blue Rock Lake - 15,000
Lake Glenmaggie - 10,000
Narracan Lake - 10,000
Mitchell River (Iguana Creek area) - 5,000
Avon River (Valencia Creek area) - 3,000
Cowwarr Weir - 2,000
Macalister River, downstream of Lake Glenmaggie - 2,000
Since 2010, Fisheries Victoria has stocked nearly 320,000 Australian bass into eight lakes and rivers in Gippsland.
Recent feedback from local anglers indicates these bass are thriving with recent reports of those in the Avon reaching 17cm and those in the Macalister up to 20cm. Fisheries Victoria is also working closely with local agencies to improve angler access on the Nicholson River.