Recreational Fish Species
While the Inland Fisheries Act 1995 governs all fish species in inland waters, the recreational fishery is focused primarily on four species of salmonids, which were introduced to Tasmania and are now acclimatised fish. These are brown trout (Salmo trutta), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).
Several species of native fish which are commonly caught by anglers are also governed by the Angling Regulations. These are black bream (Acanthopagrus butcheri), river blackfish (Gadopsis marmoratus), short finned eel (Anguilla australis) and long finned eel (Anguilla reinhardtii). Separate regulations apply to the recreational whitebait fishery which covers several species of small native fish including Tasmanian whitebait (Lovettia sealii).
The first brown trout were hatched on 4th of May 1864 from a batch of live ova shipped from England to the Salmon Ponds, which became the birthplace of trout in the Southern Hemisphere. The newly released brown trout flourished in Tasmania, and quickly spread or were introduced to most rivers and lakes across the State. These wild populations are the source of eggs and annual stock of juvenile and adult fish used to supplement the fishery. Transfers of adult brown trout still form an important part of the annual stocking program with anywhere from 5000 to 30,000 fish transferred each year, from the Arthurs Lake and Great Lake spawning runs. The average size of the adult brown trout used is approximately 1 kg. Eggs are taken from fish in the Liawenee spawning run and raised at the Salmon Ponds hatchery for restock into several waters to enhance natural populations of brown trout.
Rainbow trout eggs are harvested from the Liawenee Canal spawning run and taken back to the Salmon Ponds for ongrowning. The resulting fry and fingerlings are mostly returned to Great Lake to boost the stocks but a few thousand are used at selected waters where the management aims are to protect wild rainbow stocks. Examples of these are Dee Lagoon, Lake Rowallan and Lake Echo.
Domestic rainbow trout are used to stock the majority of our waters and these are sourced from commercial hatcheries.
Ex-broodstock salmon have been used at Meadowbank Lake as an enticement to anglers at the start of each season since 1996. Since 2004 there has been an increasingly regular supply of these large ex-broodstock fish available to the Service for stocking public waters. Salmon of up to 15 kg have been stocked at Craigbourne Dam, Brushy Lagoon, Lake Barrington and Lake Kara in recent years. These stockings have proved very popular, giving anglers a chance to hook and possibly land very large freshwater fish.
Stocks of brook trout are maintained with some supplementary stocking atClarence Lagoon and lakes of the Henty-Anthony scheme on the west coast (lakes Plimsol,Selina and Rolleston).