From the Archives ...

Sea runners - Early Season Excitement - Christopher Bassano

Presented from Issue 100
Considering the world class quality of our sea trout fishery, these fish are not sought after by enough anglers. Sea runners live in the salt water and run up our estuaries and rivers from the start of August to the middle of November. At this time of the year, they are here to eat the many species of fish that are either running up the rivers to spawn or are living in and around the estuary systems. Trout, both sea run and resident (Slob Trout) feed heavily on these small fish which darken in colouration as they move further into fresh water reaches.

The majority of these predatory fish are brown trout with rainbows making up a very small percentage of the catch. They can be found all around the state but it would be fair to say that the east coast is the least prolific of all the areas. They still run up such rivers as the Georges (and many others) but their numbers along with the quality of the fishing elsewhere make it difficult to recommend the area above the larger northern, southern and western rivers.

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Recent Stocking of the Coal River

by Sarah Graham
The Inland Fisheries Service stocked the Coal River with 5,000 wild stock brown trout fingerling weighing around 20 g, on Tuesday 22 February. The young fish were marked by a clipping of the adipose fin so that they can be identified in future surveys to monitor the stocking effectiveness. They were put into 14 different locations in lots of 3-400, from below Craigbourne Dam to Fingerpost Bridge, south of Campania.
Picture: Seb Horbushko, IFS stocking the Coal River with wild brown trout fingerling
This stocking is part of the Service’s management priority this year to supplement natural brown trout populations in selected rivers which are recovering from the impact of drought conditions. A further aim is to monitor the effectiveness of stocking in lowland rivers by conducting follow up surveys in order to consider further river stocking in the future.
The fingerling were sourced from Great Lake spawners last May and grown at the New Norfolk hatchery. The Service harvests wild brown and rainbow trout from eggs and grows them to fry or fingerling stage under the annual hatchery and stocking program. They are generally used to supplement wild trout populations with poor or low natural recruitment in lakes, mostly in highland areas of the State, but occasionally also in lowland rivers.
Drought conditions prior to 2009-10 season devastated resident trout populations in the Coal River and Craigbourne Dam was virtually empty. Good rainfalls since then have enabled the Service to reinvigorate the fishery at Craigbourne Dam with stocking of a combination of juvenile and adult, domestic and wild fish, and also to look now at supplementing wild fish stock in the Coal River. These juvenile fish will need a season or two – depending on the available feed – to grow to a catchable size.
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