There is certainly something about fishing in freshwater that once you have given it a go will get under your skin and have you going back time and again to give it another shot.
Trout and redfin perch make up the majority of our freshwater fishing experience here in the west and is pretty much limited to the southwest corner of the state. The trout fishery is primarily maintained as what is called a “put and take” fishery. This refers to the fish being bred and reared in a hatchery and then “put” into dams and rivers for anglers to “take”. We have two types of trout, the most common is the rainbow trout, and the other is not stocked as heavily and is considered the prize species of the two and is the brown trout.
Redfin perch were released back in the late 1800s and have been here ever since. Redfin are not found in all waterways but the waterways that do have them are very popular locations to fish as they are very tasty to eat and offer a great by-catch when chasing trout.
Trout stocking takes place every year to replenish popular freshwater fishing rivers and dams. Trout are stocked in three discrete age classes. The biggest amount stocked, is of fry, these fish are about three to five centimetres long and in most years the quantity is about 450,000 fish. These fish will take a couple of years to grow to legal size. The next size of fish released is the yearlings. These fish are from 8 to 12 months old which will range in size from about 20 to 25cm in length. These fish will become legal size in the year of release or the next year. The third type of fish released is the ex brood stock, or the old breeding fish.
These are used for a year or two for their eggs and sperm and then replaced. Brood stock stockings, while very low, are big fish and are prized captures by those that manage to land them.
Not all suitable waters are stocked with trout. Water catchment dams, or those used for supplying drinking water are not allowed to be used for fishing.
Rivers of high conservation value are also not stocked. One particular river is simply not stocked so that there can be a reference point for unstocked waters if we ever need to use it for any sort of analysis. This river is the Shannon River and should not be fished at all by anyone.
Freshwater fishing in WA requires you to hold a freshwater angling licence and has its own set of rules and regulations. The great news is freshwater fishing is now open all year round.
Each year approximately 10,000 people give freshwater fishing a go in WA. If you have not given freshwater fishing a go then maybe you should get out there and see what these 10,000 anglers are getting out there and experiencing.
If you are keen to try your luck at freshwater fishing, here is a list of stocked waterways for 2020 to help you narrow down the most suitable location for a family outing, a holiday camping trip or maybe just a day trip.
The first release is expected to occur early Winter, along with a community stocking event on 3 October, where you have the opportunity to learn from some of WA’s best freshwater fishers, try your hand at spin or fly fishing, and release thousands of fish into Drakesbrook Dam. Make sure you register to attend here.
2020 Fry stocking locations and number of fish
Locations and numbers to be confirmed in the coming weeks
|Big Brook Dam||Advanced yearlings 1250|
|Drakesbrook Dam||Advanced yearlings 700|
|Glen Mervyn Dam||Advanced yearlings 200|
|Harvey Dam||100 standard yearlings & 2800 advanced yearlings|
|Lefroy Brook||1000 standard yearlings & 600 advanced|
|Logue Brooke Dam||500 standard & 200 advanced yearlings|
|Murray River||1400 standard & 200 advanced yearlings|
|Waroona Dam||Advanced yearlings 2100|
|TOTAL||10300 standard yearlings & 8050 advanced yearlings|
Ex Brood Rainbow
|Big Brook Dam||200|
|Harvey Dam||1500 *water level dependent|
|Logue Brook Dam||200|
Ex Brood Brown
|Big Brook Dam||50|