Spring into freshwater fishing action

It’s that time of the year again and many WA fishers are bursting with excitement to whet their freshwater fishing appetite and wet a line.

Spring traditionally marks the start of the South West’s freshwater fishing season, with anglers fishing the region’s various freshwater dams, rivers and streams for rainbow and brown trout.

Sam Russell with a nice rainbow trout at Harvey Dam.

With redfin perch also prevalent, Recfishwest Operations Lead Matt Gillet said it was easy to understand why so many fishers flocked to the South West to enjoy the freshwater fishing action.

“The best time to fish for trout in South West begins in late winter and continues through spring, when the water is cooler and stream flows are at their optimum,” he said.

“Dams do produce fish all year round, however, trout are generally harder to find in the warmer months because they retreat to cooler, deeper waters.”

Freshwater fishing – safe and accessible

WA boasts a terrific freshwater trout fishery, which includes many safe and easily accessible locations to catch brown and rainbow trout.

There are many popular spots off the South Western Highway between Waroona and Harvey including Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona Dam and Harvey Dam.

For those wanting to venture further south, Lefroy Brook and the Warren River – both near Pemberton – also provide fantastic freshwater locations to target trout and redfin perch.

And, from avid anglers to newcomers, Matt said fishers of all abilities can have success chasing freshwater species in the South West.

How’s this plump Warren River redfin perch for Ben Russell?!

“For those who are new to freshwater fishing, it can seem daunting – especially when you see iconic shots of fishers in waders fly-fishing skinny streams,” Matt said.

“Although fly-fishing is an iconic angling method to catch trout, light spin outfits – generally used for herring or bream fishing – can still prove very effective. Sometimes it pays to keep things simple.”

Click here for more freshwater fishing tips

Big turnout set for Troutfest 2020 

Our fourth annual Troutfest at Drakesbrook Weir, near Waroona, will be held next month – and unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions – is now fully booked. 

At the event, thousands of rainbow trout, hatched and reared at the Department of Primary Industry’s (DPIRD) Pemberton trout hatchery, will be released into Drakesbrook Weir as part of the popular community stocking event.

It is set to take place following our inaugural Fish in the ‘Burbs: Trout and About in the Murray event, which is backed by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund – unfortunately, this event, run in partnership with the Shire of Murray, Indo-Pacific Environmental, Aquatic life Industries and DPIRD, is now also fully booked. 

Troutfest – run in partnership with the Shire of Waroona and supported by DPIRD, Alcoa, Whitey’s Tackle and Camping and Anaconda Bunbury – celebrates WA’s fantastic freshwater fisheries.

Troutfest is a fun, family-friendly event!

As an added incentive to try your luck at trout fishing, 3-4 October has been made a freshwater licence-free weekend.

“It’s been great to see Troutfest go from strength to strength over the past few years,” Matt said. “It shows the appetite there is for freshwater fishing experiences here in WA.

“This is one of the reasons we’ve worked so hard to get the Fish in the ‘burbs event off the ground and we will ensure this will be the first of many more accessible family-friendly fishing events like this to come.”

WA’s trout stocking program

Each year, trout are stocked at various popular freshwater fishing rivers and dams.

The released trout are bred and reared at Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Pemberton trout hatchery as part of its trout stocking program.

Recfishwest, through its Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to DPIRD on where to stock each year’s stock of bred trout in the South West.

Check-out this year’s stocking here.

Mike Minutillo found a redfin perch honey hole at Harvey Dam.

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