Freshwater anglers are set to benefit in years to come thanks to an expanding Australian bass
stocking program that released over 100,000 fingerlings into seven Gippsland waters, including
three rivers for the first time.
Executive Director of Fisheries Victoria, Anthony Hurst, said recent advances in the genetic
knowledge of Victorian bass stocks confirmed Gippsland bass are essentially one stock rather
than several, as previously thought.
“This means broodstock bass from many Gippsland catchments within their natural range can
now be used when breeding fingerlings, which has increased broodstock collection opportunities
and consequently, fingerling production,” Mr Hurst said.
“Australian bass are a highly regarded sportfish and these stockings cement the Department’s
commitment to developing new fisheries for this species.
“Stocked bass fisheries in north-east New South Wales and south-east Queensland have proved
very successful so we are keen to ensure that Victorian anglers get the opportunity to enjoy bass
“Lake Glenmaggie, near Heyfield, received 22,000 bass while Blue Rock Reservoir, near Moe,
“These two lakes were stocked last summer with 30,000 and 22,000 bass respectively so we will
have consecutive year-classes in the water, which is ideal.
“The Macalister River below Lake Glenmaggie was stocked with 4,000 bass while Lake
Narracan received 20,000.
“New to the list of waters to receive Australian bass fingerlings are the Mitchell, Avon and
Thomson rivers, which contain low density populations of wild bass, some of which have been
used to breed the fingerlings being stocked.
“The Mitchell River received 15,000 bass, the Avon 15,000 and the Thomson 11,000 at Cowarr
“These bass fingerlings are about 1 gram and 3cm long when released and are expected to take
several years to reach the legal minimum length of 27cm.”
The expanded bass stocking program has benefited from extensive broodstock collection by
researchers from the Arthur Rylah Institute (DSE) and is well supported by VRFish, Native Fish
Australia and local Gippsland anglers.
For more information about fish stocking visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fishing