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Opening of the trout season – Northwest options

Published on July 31, 2015
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The Mersey River is a good place to try for an early season trout.

Northwest coast angler should not have to travel too far from their home to get amongst the fishing action this year. With the weather not looking great for the highlands it may be a better option to fish some the lakes and rivers at lower elevations closer to home.

The Mersey River is one of the standout river fisheries in the state and has recovered well from the cormorant predation that affected so many of the Tasmania’s river fisheries in 2012. Lure, fly and bait fishers all do well on this river and there are sections that suit all these forms of angling. The lower reaches of the river could produce sea run brown trout in the first few months of the new season. The IFS has undertaken a lot of work providing access to anglers and has produced an Angler Access brochure for the river and this can be found on the IFS website. http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/publications/mersey-river-angler-access-brochure

Other rivers along the coast could also be well worth a look on opening weekend such as the Don, Leven and Forth rivers. The River Leven has had work opening up access points as well as a stocking of 400 adult brown trout transferred from highland spawning runs, an Angler Access brochure can be found on the IFS website. http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/publications/river-leven-angler-access-brochure

A little further to the east, the Meander River may offer good fishing early if the rivers of the central and northwest coasts are flooded from the forecast rains expected on opening weekend. The Meander River is regulated from the damming of Huntsman Lake and this should hold back the flows in comparison to some of the undammed rivers further west. An Angler Access Brochure is available for this on the IFS website. http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/publications/meander-river-angler-access-brochure

There are options too for those wishing to fish still waters without going to the Central Plateau. The Pet Dam received 1,000 adult brown trout transferred form the highland spawning streams this year and there have also been rainbow trout stocked there over the last 12 months. In previous seasons this has been a fishery that has produced, particularly for bait fishers at the start of the season. The nearby Guide Dam is another option for Burnie based anglers.

Lake Kara was stocked with 800 adult brown trout this week and the stocking of hatchery brood stock will occur when they become available from the commercial farms. The coming weeks should see Atlantic salmon stocked in to this water as well. The IFS has an Angler Access brochure for Lake Kara on the website. http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/publications/huntsman-brushy-four-springs-brochure

Lake Barrington is the feature lake of the northwest coast and is a good place for anglers interested in trolling. Atlantic salmon are stocked there from time to time and together with a large population of brown trout offer an incentive to visit this good boating water. Further west Lake Mikany at Smithton has a large head of brown trout and provides for good fishing for shore based anglers.

Northwest coast based anglers also have the west coast waters of Lake Roseberry and Mackintosh with their reach. Lake Mackintosh has recently has a webcam installed that is accessible from the Angler Alliance Tasmania website www.anglersalliance.org and should be checked for boating conditions before heading down to lakes in the western region of the state. An Angler Access brochure is available from the IFS website. http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/publications/lake-rosebery-and-lake-mackintosh-brochure

Further east from the main population centers of the northwest coast Brushy Lagoon, Four Springs Lake and Huntsman Lake offer a variety of fishing with not too far to travel and being relatively low land waters could provide for some better weather than the Central Plateau will offer this weekend. An Angler Access brochure covering these three waters is available on the IFS website. http://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/publications/huntsman-brushy-four-springs-brochure

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