Rain brings Target One Million goals closer

Published: 24 January 2017

Record numbers of more than 844,000 trout and salmon stocked into Victorian waterways last year has brought  the Victorian Government's $46 million Target One Million goals closer – to get more people fishing more often, and boost participation rates to one million anglers by 2020.

Last year's wetter than average spring and drought breaking rain filled many Victorian lakes and inland catchments, playing a key part in boosting numbers.

Flooded lake margins have kick-started productive aquatic systems, providing ideal conditions for fast-growing rainbow trout – with world-class growth rates anticipated in several waters over the next 12 to 18 months.

Toolondo also remains high on the list of trout lakes to watch this year – thanks to a water transfer in October 2016. Water levels are significantly higher and have provided security through the summer for trout, which have limited tolerance to warm water temperatures.

Saving Lake Toolondo as a trophy trout fishery delivered on another initiative of the government's Target One Million plan, and helps keep valuable fishing tourism in regional Victoria where it continues to boost small businesses across our regions.

Recreational fishing is one of the most popular recreational pursuits in Victoria, and according to the 2015 Ernst and Young report, contributed $7.1 billion towards the economy in 2013-14, and supported 33,967 full-time jobs.

The report also highlighted the significant contribution regional areas make to the Victorian economy – with Port Phillip region contributing $1.3 billion, North West $307 million, North East $224 million, South West $325 million and the Gippsland region contributing $381 million.

According to Victoria's peak body for recreational fishing, VRFish, Target One Million has been a "great outcome for recreational fishers, and the fishing related tourism benefits to the region will be significant".