Troutfest a tremendous success celebrating WA’s freshwater fishing

More than 1000 safely released rainbow and brown trout, 300 smiling faces and one freshwater reservoir full to the brim with fish — safe to say Recfishwest’s booked-out Troutfest was a roaring success.

Enthusiastic families led the charge to release the two fantastic freshwater species into Drakesbrook Weir, near Waroona, at the annual community stocking on Saturday morning to make fishing better.

WATCH: See what happened at Troutfest! 

Hundreds of freshwater fishers supported Troutfest. Picture: Jon Gellweiler / Recfishwest

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland was among those to roll up his sleeves to release the rainbows and browns – which all varied in size from ex-broodstock to fingerlings.

“Troutfest well and truly was another success,” Dr Rowland said.

“It was great to have 300 people join us at Drakesbrook Weir, getting their hands dirty and feet wet to hand-release the rainbow and brown trout.”

Troutfest is part of a carefully managed South West stocking program using freshwater fishing licence revenue to enhance the fishery and improve freshwater fishing experiences.

The program produces hatchery-reared trout grown at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) Pemberton hatchery.

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.

Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley said DPIRD’s annual stocking program ensured more larger trout were accessible to freshwater anglers.

“Trout bred in captivity have been the foundation and life blood of freshwater fishing in WA for more than a century,” Minister Tinley said.

“Modern aquaculture research knowledge is helping us improve the way we stock the rainbow and brown trout that recreational fishers enjoy catching.”

Were you snapped at Troutfest? Check out some of Jon Gellweiler‘s photos

Freshwater fishing fun

For the past four years, Troutfest, held in partnership with the Shire of Waroona, has celebrated the Peel and South West regions’ fantastic freshwater fisheries and Saturday’s event was no different.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland with one of the ex-broodstock brown trout! Picture: Jon Gellweiler / Recfishwest

The success of Troutfest, in addition to last week’s Fish in the ‘Burbs, proves that fishers value freshwater fishing and exploring our amazing bushlands in search for trout in freshwater systems.

And, why wouldn’t they? Freshwater fishing is a safe, easily accessible and fun fishing experience which can be enjoyed by fishers of all ages and skill levels.

After the trout were released on Saturday, Drakesbrook Weir remained a hive of activity with many happy families hanging around and catching a few rainbow trout.

Budding fly fishers also tapped the brains of Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA) members, who provided free fly-casting tuition and fly-tying demonstrations.

“Many thanks to DPIRD for supplying the rainbow trout from the Pemberton-based hatchery and WATFAA for sharing their knowledge on fly selection and casting methods,” Dr Rowland said.

“I’d also like to thank Alcoa, Anaconda Bunbury and Whitey’s Tackle for supporting this year’s Troutfest and making the event possible.

“With so many families and children embracing Troutfest, it’s safe to say our freshwater fishing future is in safe hands!”

More action from this year’s action-packed Troutfest below!📸 Jon Gellweiler!

Recfishwest’s Steph Watts helped attendees during the release at Troutfest. Picture: Jon Gellweiler / Recfishwest