There are no age limits for fishing, which for many becomes a lifetime pursuit and passion. The benefits of starting to fish at a young age obvious and long lasting. The Service is keen to encourage young people into the sport of trout fishing. If you are under the age of 14 years, you are not required to buy an Angling licence to fish at any inland water during the open season. From 14 to 17, you are required to buy a Junior licence, which is provided at a relatively cheap cost for 12 months of fishing.
The problem for some young people who are keen to go fishing is that an adult is normally required for transport, equipment, learning and accessing fishing locations. An older family member or friend is an ideal fishing companion but your local angling club may offer a junior angling program and you can make contact with experienced anglers who can provide advice on fishing gear, and where and when to go fishing for the best results. Some schools also offer fishing activities as part of outdoor education programs, and individual teachers may be enthusiastic anglers.
The Service has identified a number of waters as Popular (or Family) waters for the regular stocking of large, easy to catch fish. These are generally in the lowland areas, close to population centres or are reasonably easy to access, and are evenly spread in the north, south and north west regions of the State. Examples include Craigbourne Dam and Lake Meadowbank in the South, Lake Barrington and the Pet and Guide dams in the North West, and Four Springs Lake, Brushy Creek and Curries River Reservoir in the North. Stocking events are announced on the Service website or you can subscribe to Angler News to be sent an alert about stocking.
In addition the Service has designated a Junior Water at Lake Waverley in the North of the State, which is reserved for junior anglers only. The angler must be under the age of 16 and accompanied by an adult.
Several angling clubs have negotiated with landholders to obtain access to local fishing waters for the primary use by junior anglers and for club fishing events. The Service stocks these Junior Waters with adult fish on request by the clubs.
A number of angling clubs run informal programs for junior anglers and several have negotiated with local landholders to provide a junior angling water in the local area. The Service is keen to promote trout fishing to young people and support club activities aimed at juniors with resources such as prizes and give-aways, and stocks junior waters for angling events and activities.
To find what is being offered to junior anglers in your local area, contact the relevant angling club by following the link to List of clubs and associations.
A good example of a junior angling program is run by the Ulverstone Anglers Club. The Young Anglers Development Inc provides a formal education program for young people interested in fishing. It provides them with a safe and secure fishing venue, and expert advice on all forms of angling. Events are held on the last Sunday of every month from August to April, excluding December, from 10 am to 3 pm at Frombergs Dam, East Ulverstone.
Although not a formal program, Inland Fisheries staff, visit schools to talk to young people about trout fishing as well as a range of subjects relating to freshwater fisheries. Teaching resources and give-away materials are available by contacting the Service.