Pemberton Trout Festival – breaking trout stocking attendance records in just its second year

Thanks to a buzzing crowd of around 500 mums, dads and excited kids along with stunning weather, the second edition of Pemberton Trout Festival went down as our biggest family-friendly trout stocking event to date!  

Taking place at Big Brook Dam foreshore and picnic area on Sunday, 5 November, with the unique backdrop of giant Karri trees, hundreds of smaller rainbow and brown trout fry, mid-sized yearlings and larger broodstocks more than 50cm in length were gently released into the crystal-clear water to celebrate our South-West freshwater fishery.  

Thanks to the dedicated team at DPIRD’s Pemberton Hatchery Centre – which can be seen in the video below – the healthy batch of trout were bred and reared by their team of experts then transported using their new and improved trout stocking trailer and vehicle from just up the road before making a splash into the wild.  

With more than $300,000 spent on improving DPIRD’s latest stocking vehicles, trailer and tanks, they are now capable of better regulating and monitoring the tanks’ water oxygen levels and temperatures, allowing the fish to be transported in a healthier state to each freshwater stocking location throughout the South-West.  

Included in the day’s festivities were free fishing clinics and fly-fishing tutorials led by fishing experts from the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA), with scores of kids and even adults dabbling in learning the fine craft of fly casting.  

How’s this for a Pemberton Trout Festival turnout! A big Recfishwest thanks to the hundreds of mums, dads and kids who got hands on for the trout release.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “It was clear from the big smiles how much the freshwater fishery means to our South-West communities. Fishing for trout and redfin while enjoying the benefits of getting out into nature in our beautiful South-West is a priceless experience that is readily accessible to anglers of all abilities.  

“That’s why Recfishwest will continue to work hard to create more places for people to fish for freshwater species in safe, accessible and family-oriented fishing locations. We firmly believe our freshwater fishery can and should be expanded to deliver even more pleasure and benefits to the WA community.”  

Recfishwest CEO DR Andrew Rowland and DPIRD’s Andrew Beer pictured with more than one hundred rainbow trout fry, which are now swimming freely in Big Brook Dam.

Returning bigger and better for its second year, the Pemberton Trout Festival was a collaboration between DPIRD’s Pemberton Trout Hatchery, Daiwa, Healthway, the Pemberton Visitor Centre and Shire of Manjimup. 

A big Recfishwest thanks to the Australian Trout Foundation, Southern Forests Freshwater Angling Club and Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association for their support, along with the hundreds of families who came down and rolled up their sleeves.  

Click here to see the numbers and locations of where all trout were stocked in our South-West throughout 2023!

Check out pictures below to see if you were snapped while the trout made a splash!  

Big thanks to Petula Holland from SFFAC and Mike Beanland for supplying the fantastic drone shots in the video above.

 

2023 Waroona Troutfest a roaring success, with scores of excited families celebrating our freshwater fishery

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.    

Click here to see a full list of trout stocking numbers and locations for 2023.  

Hundreds of families rolled up their sleeves and enjoyed hand-releasing more than 350 of these beauties into Drakesbrook Weir!

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.  

Farewell fishy!

“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.  

RECFISHWEST – KEEPING THE FUN IN FISHING! JOIN OUR CAST OF THOUSANDS AND HELP US RUN MORE GREAT COMMUNITY EVENTS LIKE TROUTFEST!  

A big thanks to everyone who came down and helped out releasing hundreds of fish into their new homes!

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!

Inaugural Pemberton Trout festival makes big stocking splash with locals

With stunning weather and a spectacular forest backdrop, the inaugural edition of the Pemberton Trout Festival proved to be a great hit with the sizeable crowd that turned out for this new fish stocking event. 

Around 400 people made the picturesque journey to Big Brook Dam, just outside of Pemberton, to line up and hand-release hundreds of rainbow and brown trout into the crystal-clear waters of this fantastic South-West freshwater fishery.  

To top it off, every trout making a splash was at least yearling size, with dozens of parents and kids able to experience the thrill of holding the larger ex-broodstock specimens, some over 50cm in length, before gently caressing them into the water and watching them kick away to freedom.  

With a greater number of the larger fish being released, it means a higher survival rate and a better workout for anglers and their rods when these bigger trout grab lures, flies and baits.  

The stocking event proudly celebrated 50 years of Fisheries Department (DPIRD) management of the Pemberton Hatchery, which underpins WA’s ever popular South-West trout fishery.  

Along with Recfishwest, this new event was initiated and supported 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).  

The festival would also not have been possible without the tremendous support from DPIRD, the Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre, Daiwa, Healthway, Pemberton Visitor Centre, Shire of Manjimup and the Australian Trout Foundation Inc.  

There were plenty of larger ex-broodstock trout up for grabs for attendees to help hand-release at the festival! Here’s Recfishwest Communications Coordinator Jarrad Lawford helping a young tacker release a beautiful brown.

“It was a great sight to see dozens of families and kids getting hands on in releasing these fantastic fish. There couldn’t have been a more fitting way to celebrate the history of the hatchery and the fishery here in Pemberton – the ‘spiritual home’ of WA freshwater fishing,” said Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland.  

“The Pemberton-based trout hatchery run by DPIRD supports a fantastic program that brings thousands of anglers to chase these fish through South-West freshwater dams, rivers and streams. These anglers in turn inject more than $20 million annually into the regional economy and we believe there is huge potential to grow the fishery even further along with the social and economic benefits it brings to the region.”  

Every year, trout are released into various popular freshwater fishing dams and rivers such as Drakesbrook Weir, Harvey Dam, Waroona Dam, the Collie River and the Brunswick. 

With such a big turn-out for the successful event, it is hoped more fish stocking events like this can be run in the area in the future – watch this space! 

Recfishwest will continue to work closely with Government in creating more places for people to fish for freshwater species in safe, accessible and family-oriented fishing locations.  

Recfishwest’s Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group will continue to provide advice to DPIRD on where to distribute each year’s trout stocks bred at the hatchery.  

A big Recfishwest thanks to all our supporters who made this event possible, along with all attendees young and old who took part and helped release the fish quickly and in good condition.  

A unique experience in a picturesque place, hopefully the Pemberton Trout Festival will become an annual event!

Help thousands of trout dive and thrive at Troutfest 2022!

There’s nothing quite like rolling up your sleeves and helping release thousands of rainbow and brown trout into Drakesbrook Weir – and the opportunity to do this again at Troutfest for 2022 is fast approaching!

Recfishwest is once again partnering with the Shire of Waroona and DPIRD’s Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre to host the sixth annual Troutfest community fish stocking event and celebrate all things trout and freshwater fishing on Saturday, 15 October.

Troutfest is a great opportunity to jump in the drink yourself and help release multiple trout of various sizes!

Troutfest 2022
When? 15 October, 10am – 2pm
Where?
Drakesbrook Weir, Weir Road, Waroona
What to bring? Suncreen, a hat, water – fishing gear if you want – although Recfishwest will loan out gear on the day.
More info? Visit the Shire of Waroona website or contact the shire on 9733 7800.

Celebrating the South-West and Peel regions’ great trout and freshwater fishery, the event will give you the unique chance to jump in the drink at Drakesbrook Weir and help release thousands of radiant rainbow and beautiful brown trout.

This year will also see many larger yearlings and ex-broodstock rainbow and brown trout released into Drakesbrook Weir than in previous years. More larger fish released means a higher survival rate for the fish and critically more fish grabbing anglers’ lures, flies and baits!

FANCY HAVING A CRACK AT FISHING FOR TROUT? FIND OUT WHERE AND HOW HERE

Along with the opportunity to release trout, Troutfest also features several fun fishing activities including a free fishing clinic, fly-casting tuition, fly-tying demonstrations, and a casting competition for kids.

Last year, dozens of excited kids were able to catch a trout as our happy snaps show – and this year will be no different. This is what trout fishing is all about – fishing fun in our great outdoors in our spectacular South-West!

Not only can you help release multiple trout, our Recfishwest crew will provide tips on how to catch them!

“Troutfest is a great celebration of this fantastic fishery,” said Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland. “It showcases the value that fish stocking plays in helping future proof our fisheries and creating fish abundance for great fishing. The fishing is always better when the fish are biting.”

“Anglers visiting South-West freshwater dams, streams and rivers helps inject more than $20 million annually into the regional economy, but there is great potential for growing the fishery and boosting that economic injection even further.

“We want to work closely with Government to create more places for people to fish for freshwater species, where they can catch fish in safe, accessible, and family oriented fishing locations.

“DPIRD already does a great job with their Pemberton-based trout hatchery, but with great collective will and vision from the Government, an expansion of the freshwater fishery could unlock huge social, economic and fishing benefits for the community.”

Recfishwest, through its Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, advises DPIRD on where to stock trout each year.

Recfishwest thanks Daiwa as our community fish stocking partners, our Troutfest partner in the Shire of Waroona, along with our supporters in Alcoa, Healthway, Fishability and Act, Belong, Commit for helping us run this event for another year.

We’re very excited to have Daiwa by our side as Recfishwest’s community fish stocking partners, make sure you pay Troutfest 2022 a visit!

 

Freshwater fishing fun: Troutfest 2018 in pictures

Beautiful clear skies on the first day of spring set the scene for this year’s second annual Troutfest event at Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona.

It was better than we anticipated with over 400 people joining us to celebrate all things freshwater fishing at the community stocking event.

With the help of Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) fishers were given a licence free weekend allowing them to try their hand at freshwater fishing over the Fathers’ Day weekend.

With many people arriving early, just to get their lines in the water, it was evident that fishers were keen to land a prized trout or two and learn about freshwater fishing in Peel and the South West.

On the day, free rod hire was available for those that wanted to try their luck, free fishing tuition taught by our passionate Recfishwest fishing clinics instructors, as well as coarse fishing tuition, fly casting demonstrations with some of WA’s best fly fishers from the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA) and an excellent education display by DPIRD.

The Hobie kayak and Paddleboard demonstrations run by our partner Getaway Outdoors were a hit with many people taking the opportunity to give it a try on the dam and the Lions Club put on a delicious BBQ for everyone.

The day’s major highlight was the exciting fish release when the community took take part in hand-releasing more than 200 advanced yearlings (18-month-old fish), 18,000 rainbow fry trout (two-month-old fish), 50 ex-broodstock rainbow and 12 ex-broodstock brown trout (fish used for breeding that are between two years old and five years old).

Click here to find out more about freshwater stocking and where this year’s fish have been stocked.

It was with the community’s attendance and support from our volunteers that Troutfest was able to increase the awareness of freshwater fishing in the South West, and provide families the opportunity to see, touch and catch freshwater species.

In previous years, the first week of spring marked the traditional opening of the South West freshwater fishing season but with improved fisheries management strategies now in place, we are fortunate to enjoy freshwater fishing all year round and we’re predicting with the recent rainfall of late, we’re in for one of the best freshwater fishing season we’ve seen in 20 years!

Troutfest definitely highlighted how good freshwater fishing can be, with some excellent catches of rainbow trout coming from the dam along with brown trout and redfin perch being caught at other nearby stocked waterways.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us and we hope you enjoy the slideshow below. Please save any images, share with your friends and family and continue tagging us in your images using the hashtag #RecfishwestTroutfest2018 and/or @Recfishwest.

We look forward to seeing you at a bigger and better Troutfest in 2019.

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