Freshwater Fishing, Stocking and Trout

Freshwater Stocking

Trout fishing or freshwater fishing is so incredibly different to any other type of fishing. For many saltwater fishers who have never given it a go it is the fishing you do if you do not have access to the sea or a boat. In reality however freshwater fishing is a whole other world of fishing. There are many who become so obsessed with fishing in freshwater that it is the only type of fishing they do.

There is certainly something about fishing in freshwater that once you have given it a go will get under your skin and have you going back time and again to give it another shot. Freshwater fishing in WA is extremely limited, given our climate and lack of rainfall it is surprising that the two most sought after species are in fact from countries where snow is more the norm rather than droughts and water restrictions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trout and redfin perch make up the majority of our freshwater fishing experience here in the west and is pretty much limited to the southwest corner of the state. The trout fishery is primarily maintained as what is called a “put and take” fishery. This refers to the fish being bred and reared in a hatchery and then “put” into dams and rivers for anglers to “take”. We have two types of trout, the most common is the rainbow trout, and the other is not stocked as heavily and is considered the prize species of the two and is the brown trout.

Redfin perch were released back in the late 1800’s and have been here ever since. Redfin are not found in all waterways but the waterways that do have them are very popular locations to fish as they are very tasty to eat and offer a great by catch when chasing trout.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trout stocking takes place every year to replenish popular freshwater fishing rivers and dams. Trout are stocked in three discrete age classes. The biggest amount stocked, is of fry, these fish are about three to five centimetres long and in most years the quantity is about 450,000 fish. These fish will take a couple of years to grow to legal size. The next size of fish released is the yearlings. These fish are from 8 to 12 months old which will range in size from about 20 to 25cm in length. These fish will become legal size in the year of release or the next year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The third type of fish released is the ex brood stock, or the old breeding fish, these are used for a year or two for their eggs and sperm and then replaced. Brood stock stockings while very low are big fish and are prized captures by those that manage to catch them.

Pemberton Big Brook Trout

Not all suitable waters are stocked with trout, water catchment dams, or those used for supplying drinking water are not allowed to be used for fishing.

Rivers of high conservation value are also not stocked, one particular river is simply not stocked so that there can be a reference point for unstocked waters if we even need to use it for any sort of analysis. This river is the Shannon River and should not be fished at all by anyone.

Freshwater fishing in WA requires you to hold a Freshwater Angling licence and has its own set of rules and regulations, the main rule is that there is a closed season for most waters. However it is wise to read the rules carefully as there are some waters open all year round.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Each year approximately 10,000 people give freshwater fishing a go in WA. If you have not given freshwater fishing a go then maybe you should get out there and see what these 10,000 anglers are getting out there and experiencing.

If you are keen to have a go then here is a list of stocked waterways for the last couple of years to help you narrow down the most suitable location for a family outing, a holiday camping trip or maybe just a day trip.

2012 to 2015 Fry stocking locations and number of fish

LOCATION 2012 2013 2014 2014 Overstock 2015
BLACKWOOD RIVER 45,000 35,000 35000   35,000
Carlotta Brook 15,000 15,000 10000 5000 15000
Balingup Brook 10,000 10,000 10,000   10000
Hesters Brook 20,000 20,000 10000 5000 10000
Maranup Brook 5,000 5,000 5000   5000
Mokerdillup Brook 10,000 10,000 5000 5000 15000
Nannup Brook 8,000 8,000 8000   10000
St. Johns Brook 15,000 15,000 10000 5000 15000
St. Pauls Brook 5,000 5,000 5000   5000
Geegellup Brook 10,000 10,000 5000    
LOGUE BROOK DAM 30,000 20,000      
Logue Brook 10,000 10,000      
MURRAY RIVER 5,000 5,000 10000 10000 55,000
Big Brook   10,000 10000    
Nanga Brook 5,000 5,000 5000   10000
Marrinup Brook 5,000 5,000 5000    
Cypress Form 7,000 7,000 7000   10000
Oakley Dam 2,000 2,000      
COLLIE RIVER          
Below dam   10,000      
DONNELLY RIVER 40,000 40,000 40000   60,000
Beedelup Brook 5,000       10000
Barlee Brook 15,000       10000
Record Brook 5,000 5,000 5000   5000
Pine Creek 15,000 15,000 15000   10000
Manjimup Brook 10,000 10,000 5000   10000
Dampier Gully 5,000 5,000 5000   5000
WARREN RIVER 40,000 38,000 38000   20000
Big Hill Brook 10,000 10,000 10000   10000
Quinninup Brook 2,000 2,000 2000   5000
Smith Brook 15,000 15,000 10000 5000 20000
Dombakup Brook 10,000 10,000 10000   10000
Treen Brook   10,000 10000   15000
Lefroy Brook lower 25,000 25,000 20000 5000 40000
East Brook 10,000 10,000 5000 5000 10000
Wilgarup Brook 10,000 10,000 10000   10000
BRUNSWICK RIVER   10,000 5000 5000 10000
HARVEY RIVER 10,000 10,000 10000   10000
Falls Brook 5,000 5,000 5000   10000
McKNOES BROOK 5,000 5,000 5000   5000
SERPENTINE RIVER 8,000 8,000     20000
TOTAL RAINBOWS 452,000 450,000 350,000 50,000 500,000

2012 to 2015 Brood and Yearling Stocking locations and number of fish

RAINBOW YEARLINGS
LOCATION 2012 2013 2014 2015
         
LOGUE BROOK DAM 500 250 1000 1000
WAROONA DAM 500 0 500 1000
COLLIE GORGE 1000 500 1000 0
DONNELLY RIVER 3000 1500 3000 3000
WARREN RIVER 4500 2000 5000 5500
BLACKWOOD RIVER 4000 2000 4000 4000
GLEN MERVYN DAM 500 250 500 500
BIG BROOK DAM 500 500 1000 1000
BRUNSWICK RIVER        
DRAKESBROOK DAM 1000 500 1000 1000
LEFROY BROOK 500 250 1000 1500
HARVEY DAM 7000 3500 7500 7500
MURRAY RIVER   750 1500 1500
KING RIVER     500  
PRESTON RIVER     1000  
SERPENTINE RIVER     500 1500
NOROLUP DAM     1000 1000
         
TOTAL 23000 11250 30000 30000
         
EX BROOD RAINBOW       2015
         
HARVEY DAM 2200 1900 1900 2200
DRAKESBROOK DAM   300 300 300
WAROONA DAM        
LOGUE BROOK DAM 300 300 300  
BIG BROOK DAM 200 200 200 200
         
TOTAL 2700 2500 2700 2700
     
EX BROOD BROWN       2015
         
HARVEY DAM 300 ALL 300  
WAROONA DAM        
LOGUE BROOK DAM        
BIG BROOK DAM        
         
TOTAL 300 ALL 300  
   
BROWN YEARLINGS
Treen Brook       300
Lefroy Brook       1200
         

Some tips to remember when freshwater fishing:

Many streams are overgrown and are difficult to gain access to, be sure not to damage vegetation or river banks while trying to gain access.

  •  Consider other users who have also gone fishing to get away from the masses, if someone is already fishing an area, consider going somewhere else, waiting for them to finish or at the very least ask if they would mind if you fished in the area.
  •  WA is home to many poisonous snakes, overgrown wet areas are notorious for Tiger Snakes.
  •  Razor grass and blackberries are prolific around some southwest waterways, make yourself familiar with what they both look like and be aware that they can both cause painful injuries.
  •  Take plenty of water with you if you intend to go for any sort of long walk.
  •  Protective clothing, long sleeve and long pants are both highly recommended along with a hat and sunscreen.
  • Remember to let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be home.