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.
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.
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.
|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|
|Collie River Gorge||1200|
|Logue Brook Dam||500|
|Glen Mervyn Dam||200|
|Big Brook Dam||500|
|Collie River Gorge||750|
|Logue Brook Dam||350|
|Big Brook Dam||400|
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|