Freshwater Stocking

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 mostly 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 the fry.

These fish are about 3cm to 5cm 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 eight 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-broodstock, or the old breeding fish.

This ex-broodstock brown trout was released into Drakesbrook Weir during the 2019 Troutfest!

These are used for a year or two for their eggs and sperm and then replaced. Broodstock 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 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 about 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.

Want to try and catch a trout? Learn more here!

Some tips to remember when freshwater fishing:

  • Many streams are overgrown and are difficult to gain access to, be sure not to damage vegetation or river banks while trying to gain access.
  • Consider other users who have also gone fishing to get away from the masses. If someone is already fishing an area, consider going somewhere else, waiting for them to finish or at the very least ask if they would mind if you fished in the area.
  • WA is home to many poisonous snakes, overgrown wet areas are notorious for Tiger Snakes.
  • Razor grass and blackberries are prolific around some southwest waterways, make yourself familiar with what they both look like and be aware that they can both cause painful injuries.
  • Take plenty of water with you if you intend to go for any sort of long walk.
  • Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved top and long pants are both highly recommended along with a hat and sunscreen.
  • Remember to let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be home.

Click here for more information on freshwater fishing safety.

Fish Stocking Projects

Check out some of our articles on fish stocking projects to find out more about this important initiative:


World Class Fishery for Kununurra


Prawning Back to the Future


Latest Broome Barramundi Restocking

If you are keen to try your luck at freshwater fishing, the first set of trout have been released. Here is a list of stocked waterways for 2021 to help you narrow down the most suitable location for a family outing, a holiday camping trip or maybe just a day trip.

Rainbow Fry

Serpentine River (Under SW Highway Bridge) 17500
Serpentine River (Dirk Brook) 2000
Logue Brook Dam 2000
Falls Brook (Harvey Dam) 4000
Mcknoes Brook (Upper McKnoes) 3500
Nanga Brook (Nanga) 22000
Cypress Form 17500
Drakesbrook Dam 13000
Brunswick River 6500
Collie River (Collie River high) 17500
Below Wellington Dam (Collie River low) 17500
Blackwood River (Carlotta Brook 3 QA with TC) 6000
Blackwood River (Nannup Brook) 5000
Blackwood River (St Johns Brook 2) 6500
Blackwood River (St John Barrabup) 13000
Hesters Brook (Upper Hesters Brook) 6500
Balingup Brook 6500
Norolup Dam 4000
Donnelly River (Palings Road) 3500
Donnelly River (Damper Gully Brook) 3500
Donnelly River (Donnell River (Scatter Road)) 3500
Donnelly River (Barlee Brook) 13000
Donnelly River (Beedelup Brook) 6500
Donnelly River (Record Brook) 3500
Warren River (Lower Smith Brook) 3500
Warren River (multiple locations) 13000
Warren River (Dombakup Brook) 6500
Warren River (Quinninup Brook) 3500
Lefroy Brook 40000
Warren River (Treen) 13000
Warren River (Moons crossing) 12000
Warren River (Collins Crossing) 5000
Warren River (Lower Eastbrook) 6000
King River (Upper King River Albany) 6500
TOTAL 341000

Rainbow Yearlings

Preston 600
Murray River 2400
Brunswick River 400
Collie River Gorge 2000
Donnelly River 2400
Warren River 3400
Lefroy Brook 2000
Blackwood River 4000
King River 400
Waroona Dam 2400
Drakesbrook Dam 1000
Harvey Dam 6000
Logue Brook Dam 1000
Wellington Dam 10000
Glen Mervyn Dam 200
Big Brook Dam 1600
Norolup Dam 200
TOTAL 40000

Ex Brood Rainbow

Big Brook Dam 150
Drakesbrook Dam 200
Harvey Dam 1050
Logue Brook Dam 100
Waroona Dam 600
Warren and Lefroy 150
Held for fishing comp releases in 2022 250
TOTAL 2500

Ex Brood Brown

Big Brook Dam 30
Drakesbrook Dam 50
Harvey Dam 100
Logue Brook Dam 50
Waroona Dam 100
Warren and Lefroy 20
Held for fishing comp releases in 2022 150

Brown Yearlings

Murray  River 400
Collie River Gorge 800
Donnelly River 600
Warren River 1000
Lefroy Brook 600
Logue Brook Dam 400
TOTAL 3800