Two great family-friendly trout stocking events return to celebrate WA’s fantastic freshwater fisheries

Recfishwest is excited to announce our two community trout stocking events have confirmed dates for 2023 – with Troutfest occurring this Saturday, 21 October at Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona and Pemberton Trout Festival at Big Brook Dam on Sunday, 5 November!

From 10am-1pm on Saturday, mums, dads and kids will have the chance to release radiant rainbow and beautiful brown trout into Drakesbrook Weir to celebrate WA’s freshwater fishery and the $37 million economic contribution spent each year from freshwater fishers in our South-West and Peel regions.

Along with the community having the chance to hand-release hundreds of trout at both the Waroona Troutfest and the Pemberton Trout Festival, free rod hire, free fly-casting tuitions, fly-tying demonstrations, a casting competition for kids and trout fishing tips are also on offer. Food and drink will be on sale at both trout stocking events.

Check out the highlights from Troutfest 2022 below at Drakesbrook Weir!

And to encourage more people to sample the delights of wetting a line for trout and redfin in the majestic South-West, 21 and 22 October has been made a freshwater fishing licence-free weekend (coinciding with Troutfest at Waroona) – so mums, dads and kids can wet a line in inland lakes, dams and rivers without needing to buy an annual licence.

Recfishwest is once again partnering with the Shire of Waroona and DPIRD to host the seventh annual Troutfest community fish stocking event, which has seen thousands of rainbow and brown trout stocked into Drakesbrook Weir over the years.

Meanwhile, the Pemberton Trout Festival, run in partnership with DPIRD and the Regional Development and Pemberton Visitor Centre, will return to Big Brook Dam foreshore and picnic area following the success of last year’s inaugural event, with families able to hand-release hundreds more big trout into their new homes on 5 November.

This event was first initiated by local fishing clubs including the Australian Trout Foundation (ATF), Southern Forests Freshwater Angling Club (SFFAC) and Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA).

Check out the highlights from the 2022 Pemberton Trout Festival below at Big Brook Dam!

Showcasing the Peel and Pemberton regions’ great trout and freshwater fishery, both stocking events are free and no registration is required, allowing families to roll up their sleeves to hand-release large rainbow and brown trout into their new homes.

Troutfest is a great celebration of this fantastic fishery and has become a welcome fixture on WA’s fishing calendar since its inception in 2017. It showcases how fun and popular freshwater fishing is and how WA’s freshwater stocking program underpins this highly valued fishery,” said Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.

“Recfishwest is proud to support DPIRD’s trout stocking program through the great work and advice of our Freshwater Fishing Reference Group. The fishing is always better when the fish are biting with a greater abundance of fish and this is a great example of how fish stocking helps keep the fun in fishing.

“We’re also delighted to see our second community trout stocking event return in November to Pemberton, the birthplace and ‘spiritual home’ of the South-West freshwater fishery. DPIRD does a great job with their Pemberton-based trout hatchery and we believe there is massive potential for expanding the trout stocking program and fishery. “

Hundreds of people helped release hundreds of big brown and rainbow trout into Pemberton’s Big Brook Dam last year, and this popular event will return to the area on 5 November!

Each year, trout are stocked at various popular freshwater fishing rivers and dams, including Drakesbrook Weir, Harvey Dam, Waroona Dam, Collie River and Brunswick River. The released trout are hatched and reared at DPIRD’s Pemberton-based trout hatchery through the trout stocking program. To see where trout are planned to be stocked throughout our South-West waterways this season, click here.

Recfishwest, through its Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to DPIRD on where to stock each year’s cohort of trout.

Recfishwest thanks DPIRD, The Shire of Waroona, Pemberton Visitors Centre, The Shire of Manjimup, Alcoa, Daiwa, Healthway, Fishability and Act, Belong, Commit for their support in making these family-friendly events a reality.

Make sure you come down to Drakesbrook Weir on Saturday, 21 October and Big Brook Dam in Pemberton on 5 November to help us release hundreds of these beauties!

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