Trout produced from the Department of Primary Industries’ freshwater hatchery at Snobs
Creek are the equal of their Tasmanian cousins.
Some anglers have historically questioned the genetic integrity of Victorian rainbow trout
compared to their interstate counterparts, however new findings dispel that myth once and for
Acting Fisheries Victoria Executive Director Jon Presser said new research funded by
recreational fishing licence fees showed Victorian trout grew and thrived just as well as trout
in Tasmania. “The research demonstrates the quality of the fish being bred by Fisheries Victoria is equal to
any in Australia, with nearly 460,000 rainbow trout stocked last year,” Mr Presser said.
The three year scientific trial compared the performance of Victorian strain rainbow trout
produced at Snobs Creek with Tasmanian strain fish sourced from the Great Lake population
at Liawenee. The rainbow trout were fin clipped by Fisheries Victoria staff to distinguish them and released
into privately owned catch and release lakes outside Ballarat.
Expert anglers who fish these lakes regularly monitored the performance of the rainbow trout
and kept detailed records of their catches. To ensure the trial was not biased, even the owners of the lakes did not know the origin of the
trout stocked in their waters. The results showed the Snobs Creek trout performed almost identically to the Tasmanian fish
with similar longevity, growth rates and catchability. Both strains survived until they were three to four years old when the trial ended.
Mr Presser said the results were good news for thousands of Victorian anglers who had been
enjoying bumper trout fishing in many lakes that were stocked with rainbow trout from Snobs
Creek following the drought breaking rains of this year and last.
“Many of these rainbow trout are growing exceptionally well in these lakes with many fish now
weighing over 1.2kg,” Mr Presser said.