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, here is a planned list of stocked waterways for 2023 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

Dirk Brook  (Scarp Road) 2000
Nanga Brook (Nanga Road) 10000
Murray River (Bobs Crossing) 10000
Logue Brook Dam 5000
Falls Brook (above Harvey Dam) 2000
McKnoes Brook (Scarp Road) 2000
Cypress Creek (Nanga Brook Rd) 0
Brunswick River (Beela Rd) 2500
Collie River High (Above Burekup Weir) 2000
Collie River low (below Wellington Dam) 2000
Carlotta Brook (West of Vasse Highway) 2000
Nannup Brook (Vasse and Brockman Highway intersection) 2000
St Johns Brook (St Johns Siding Rd West of Vasse Highway) 2000
St Johns Barrabup Pool (same location as above) 2000
Upper Hesters Brook (Fletcher Rd) 2000
Balingup Brook (Ewarts Rd SW of Balingup) 2000
Donnelly River (Palings Road NW of Pemberton) 2000
Donnelly River (Damper Gully Rd) 2000
Donnelly River (Scatter Lease Road) 2000
Beedelup Brook (Hop Garden Rd and Karrivale West Rd) 2000
Record Brook (Blackboy Rd) 2000
Smith Brook (Peppermint Grove Rd) 2000
Warren River (multiple locations) 10000
Dombakup Brook (Plantation Rd SW of Pemberton) 2000
Quinninup Brook (Wheatley Coast Rd East of Pemberton) 2000
Lefroy Brook (Hatchery) 5000
Treen (East of Pemberton) 5000
Moons crossing (North of Pemberton) 2000
Collins Crossing (East of Pemberton) 2000
Lower Eastbrook (South of Pemberton) 2000
TOTAL 91500

Rainbow Yearlings

Preston River 400
Murray River 1800
Brunswick River 300
Collie River Gorge 1200
Donnelly River 1300
Warren River 2500
Lefroy Brook 1500
Blackwood River 2500
Waroona Dam 600
Drakesbrook Dam 500
Harvey Dam 4000
Logue Brook Dam 500
Wellington Dam 4000
Glen Mervyn Dam 200
Big Brook Dam 500
Norilup Dam 200
Karri Lake 200
TOTAL 22200

Brown Yearlings

Murray  River 400
Collie River Gorge 750
Donnelly River 500
Warren River 600
Lefroy Brook 500
Harvey Dam 500
Logue Brook Dam 350
Drakesbrook Dam 250
Wellington Dam 1500
Big Brook Dam 400
TOTAL 5750

Rainbow & Brown Ex Broodstock

Drakesbrook Dam 200 rainbow 50 brown
Waroona Dam 250 rainbow 50 brown
Harvey Dam 600 rainbow 100 brown
Big Brook Dam 100 rainbow 50 brown
Warren and Lefroy 150 rainbow 50 brown
Wellington Dam 350 rainbow 100 brown
TOTAL 1700 rainbow 400 brown