A lively crowd and lovely weather made for a fabulous seventh edition of Troutfest and a fitting celebration of the enjoyment our South-West freshwater fishery brings to thousands of West Aussies.
More than 350 rainbow and brown trout from smaller fry up to larger ex-broodstock sizes were hand-released into their new home resulting in hundreds of smiling faces of mums, dads and kids who all got in on the action.
With DPIRD agreeing to our request to declare the weekend freshwater ‘licence-free’ for fishers, dozens of eager families tried their hand at flicking lures or fly-fishing – and a big shout out to the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Fishing Association (WATFFA) who collectively spent hours teaching event participants the noble art of fly-fishing.
Also on display was DPIRD’s impressive new-and-improved trout stocking vehicles. Using new, advanced tank monitoring technology, these vehicles can better control water temperature and oxygen levels to ensure the fish are in healthier condition at the point of their release.
It was great to see so many families getting hands on in supporting the South-West trout stocking program by rolling up their sleeves during the popular event, made possible by the Shire of Waroona, Alcoa, our stocking partners Daiwa and DPIRD’s freshwater hatchery in Pemberton.
Budding fishers were also able to tap into the knowledge of experienced freshwater fishers, with free fly-casting tuitions and fly-tying demonstrations on offer, along with an array of stalls packed with freshwater fishing merchandise.
“Troutfest epitomises the value of fish stocking and our South-West freshwater fishery – it’s a fun, safe and accessible fishery underpinned by the great work DPIRD does rearing such healthy fish at their Pemberton hatchery,” said Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.
“Another encouraging sight was seeing people of all ages and backgrounds having a crack at freshwater fishing during Troutfest. The licence-free weekend was a good incentive for many to try their hand at chasing trout or redfin perch, enjoying a great family experience and further contributing to the growing $37 million in economic spending each year in regional economies from freshwater fishers.”
Waroona Troutfest is part of a carefully managed South-West trout-stocking program supporting a fishery enjoyed by 10,000 freshwater fishing licence holders who venture to picturesque streams, rivers and dams throughout the South-West.
Recfishwest, through its Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to DPIRD on where to stock each year’s cohort of hatchery-bred trout to the best benefit of freshwater anglers.
“A big Recfishwest thanks to everyone who helped out and all of our supporters and volunteers who made this such a fantastic day, along with DPIRD for supplying this healthy batch of trout” said Andrew. “We look forward to doing it again in two weeks down in Pemberton for round two of our family-friendly trout stocking events,” added Andrew.
Make sure you’re down at Big Brook Dam Foreshore & Picnic Area by 10am on Sunday, 5 November to help us release more trout and celebrate the return of Pemberton Troutfest for its second consecutive year, following the great turnout last year by more than 300 community members.