Freshwater fishers are counting down the days until the opening of the recreational fishing season for Murray cod on 1 December.
Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) CEO, Travis Dowling, said the iconic native fish is high on the list of targets for inland fishers who travel far and wide in pursuit of a big one over the magic metre mark.
“The three-month closed season that’s coming to an end provides Murray cod with some peace and quiet to lay their eggs and produce the next generation, which contributes to great fishing in the years ahead,” Mr Dowling said.
“Record stockings of Murray cod also help bolster populations in Victoria’s lakes and rivers. Last summer, more than two million Murray cod fingerlings were stocked into over 40 waterways thanks to fishing licence fees and the State Government’s $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often, in more places.
“Those stockings included record numbers of cod into Lake Eildon and Rocklands Reservoir, both large bodies of water with great habitat for growing healthy native fish and terrific access so fishers can get to them.
“For the first time last summer, several urban waterways were stocked with catchable size Murray cod so newcomers to fishing could experience the thrill of tangling with an Aussie legend.
“Albert Park Lake, Casey Fields Lake in Cranbourne, Ferntree Gully Quarry, Karkarook Lake in Moorabin, Lilydale Lake, Navan Park Lake in Melton, Rowville Lakes, Roxburgh Park Lakes, Spavin Lake in Sunbury, all received catchable size Murray cod.
“Cod lovers will also be thrilled to hear that Fisheries’ new $7 million native fish hatchery at Arcadia on the banks of the Goulburn River near Shepparton is progressing well. It will be operational late next year and producing more cod and yellas from 2022.”
Mr Dowling reminded fishers that there are catch limits for Murray cod including a minimum size of 55cm and a maximum size of 75cm. In rivers, the bag limit is 1 Murray cod per person per day. In lakes, the bag limit is 2.