A Brighter Future for the WA Trout and Freshwater Fishery

It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and appetite for trout fishing this weekend down at Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona, for our annual Troutfest event.

The Minister for Fisheries, Dave Kelly (pictured below about to release a nice brown trout), was a keen participant and took the opportunity to announce the launch of the WA Inland Fisheries Research Advisory Committee.

Click here to see what the Minister had to say

The inaugural meeting of this committee took place earlier in August and it represents a huge and exciting step forward in securing a brighter future for the WA trout and freshwater fishery in Western Australia.

Bringing together Recfishwest, WA trout fishing experts, trout stocking specialists from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the South West Regional Development Commission, the committee’s objective is to steer the future direction of research and development of inland fisheries with a particular focus on the Pemberton Trout Hatchery.

A vision for the trout stocking program

The first meeting provided a vision for how DPIRD’s trout stocking program can be recalibrated to truly “deliver maximum community benefit” quoting the committee’s principle term of reference.

We believe there is massive potential for expanding the trout stocking program and fishery, with no reason why participation in freshwater fishing couldn’t and shouldn’t double in the next three to five years.

Changing up the stocking regime, putting in place a more robust research program associated with it and exploring new potential freshwater/trout fishing locations could evolve and secure the fishery well into the future.

A recalibrated stocking program could see more trophy tout like one of these brown beauties to fish for! 

There is a genuine opportunity here for us to improve and open up great angling experiences accessible to a wide range of fishers.

The flow-on benefits of this to the community would be many – tourism, the regional economy and the rec fishing industry would all benefit as fishers seek the magic experience of hunting rainbows and browns in majestic south-west waters.

To capitalise on this new opportunity, one of Recfishwest’s primary objectives will be to ensure a rigorous trout stocking evaluation research program is put in place.

We have long pushed for a program of this kind with little scientific data gathered around the effectiveness of stocking fry in waters we need stock in a way to maximise fish survival to provide the best possible trout numbers for anglers.

The Minister for Fisheries Dave Kelly (left) getting hands on with WA’s trout stocking program.

To address this issue, as well as impacts of reduced rainfall and streamflow in the South West, the initial focus of the committee is to consider radically overhauling the stocking regime to make the vast majority of stocked fish (currently 600,000 fish of all ages) into more robust yearlings – which will mean more angler-ready fish for your next fishing adventure.

In addition, the committee is also considering how the timing of releasing fish could be changed to maximise growth potential and survival rates of stocked trout to improve the cost-benefit to the State with greater catch returns.

Stocking Aussie natives

While the committee’s initial focus is on trout, we still have a big appetite for delivering a comprehensive Aussie native stocking program in some of WA’s freshwater locations and finding new and innovative ways for future-proofing our marron stocks.

And to be clear the new advisory committee will not be replacing Recfishwest’s expert Freshwater Fishing Reference Group, which is key to developing our policy and strategy in this space – rather it will complement it significantly.

The committee will allow us to take the reference group’s excellent work forward with a seat at the table where decisions directly affecting the future of the fishery will be made.

This is what it’s all a-trout! 

Get ‘Trout And About’ in our South-west Freshwater Ways and give Trout Fishing a Go.

Trout fishing in south-west freshwater fisheries is a great way to catch beautiful fish in some truly scenic settings and isn’t that hard to do. In this article, Recfishwest staff member and self-confessed ‘trout tragic, Nick Drummond, takes a look at some of the basics you need to know to give this fun form of fishing a go, as we gear up for our annual Troutfest event on Saturday August 31st

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT EVENT

Nick’s personal best brown trout, it swiped the lure the night before and missed, luckily the next morning it was still hanging around and smacked the spinner!

Have you experienced the spectacular freshwater angling the South West has to offer?

If not, you’re missing out! From chasing radiant rainbow trout in serene  Karri-tree lined dams,  to casting lures or flys at cunning brown trout in streams, brooks and rivers where the bubbling water tumbles down the bends and stones, to trawling a wriggling lure behind your ‘yak at dawn on a still glassy lake waiting for that electric hit on your rod – trout fishing in south-west WA has something to offer anglers of all ages and experience.

We have a fantastic trout fishery in Western Australia, supported by a comprehensive trout stocking program, with which Recfishwest is closely involved in, ensuring there is a good distribution of these fabulous-looking sportfish in waters throughout the south-west region.  So, if you haven’t had a crack at trout fishing in WA – why not give it a go?

Winter rains get the brooks bubbling and the streams flowing with cool oxygenated water, something trout love!

What gear do I need?

If you’re a little daunted by starting out in an unfamiliar fishery, don’t be. Yes, there are a few considerations to figure out such as where exactly to go, how to fish the area, bite times, lures selection etc and some might be thinking, ‘Don’t I need one of those super special fancy fly rods to catch a trout?’ – no, you definitely don’t.  And if you keep it simple when you start out by using a light spin set-up, you won’t go far wrong and this gear can easily be as effective and often more effective then fly rods. The outfit only needs to be light; something you would use for herring, skippy, bream or whiting would be perfect. Using a lighter breaking strain line helps to cast further, especially when you can cast small shallow diving minnows, soft plastics and spinners that don’t have much weight to them.

Where do I fish?

There’s a host of majestic waters to explore in the South West – which is a great part of the attraction of trout fishing – wide-open dams, babbling brooks and rolling rivers – all have their own attraction and different ways you can approach them from a fishing perspective. Dams are significantly more accessible to novice anglers, closer to Perth, and a great place to start when getting into freshwater fishing. Streams, brooks and rivers usually involve much more hiking, 4WD-driving and exploring in order to find fishable locations.

Fishing in dams

You’ve got to make the most of the early mornings when the mist is still rolling off the water, someone forgot to tell the kelpie it was freezing cold though!

There is some damn good fishing to be had in the dams! There are many impoundments that hold good fish, with stand-outs being Waroona, Drakesbrook, Harvey, Logue Brook, Glen Mervyn and Big Brook – all great locations that are stocked annually and hold great fish. Late winter/early spring is generally the best time to be on the hunt in dams, when the water is cooler after winter rains have flown in through their tributaries. Dams can still produce fish all year round, but you just have to work harder for them and find the cooler water where the trout retreat to during the warmer months. Remember when trout fishing, it’s paramount that you fish the early mornings or late afternoon, as this is when the trout are fired up and, on the bite – particularly in impoundments. Yep, this means you will have to brave those ’fresh’ mornings when you can see your breath and feel the chill of the air on the tip of your nose, but this is when you will have the best chance – and it’s amazing how soon you warm up when hooked up to a lively south-west rainbow trout or if you’re really lucky a big brawny brown!

Waroona Dam has produced some good fish and some beautiful scenery, how’s the serenity!

Fishing in streams

The majority of streams and brooks flow through some of the beautiful bush that south-west WA has to offer. They twist their way through the valleys of karri trees and provide fishers with a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with nature while chasing a trout. Stream locations are mainly around Pemberton, including the Lefroy Brook, Warren and Donnelly river. Closer to the Metro area is the Collie Gorge below the Wellington Dam and the Murray River (Lane Pool area) can also produce good fish. When stream fishing you will often do quite a bit of hiking and cover a lot of ground searching for pools and areas moving on to the next area after a few casts in each of them. Fishing these waterways using a kayak is a really fun way to catch fish and gives you access to spots that you can’t reach from the bank.

What about the stocking program?

Stocking trout helps to sustain the populations found in our waterways. Though the trout colour up ready for the breeding season, doing their best to push up the streams and brooks in late winter, their spawning is very rarely successful.

This stream in the Pemberton area produced a few nice redfin and a follow from a trout, but no hook-up unfortunately!

To ensure an abundance of trout are on offer for fishers, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development along with the Pemberton Trout Hatchery stocks over 650,000 trout each year! Last year, a trial stocking of 3,500 advanced yearlings into a number of locations into south-west waterways was a huge success in the eyes of many freshwater anglers. This year there are 6,500 advanced yearlings being stocked, up by 3,000 fish on last year! These advanced yearlings are larger than the usual yearlings as they’re raised with more space and food to get them to a larger size of around 30cm before release. The increased size gives the advanced yearlings significantly better chances of survival in the south-west waterways avoiding being eaten by redfin, birds and larger trout. At 30cm, when caught, they also make for great fishing snaps to show off to your family and friends and on your social media.

CHECK OUT MORE ON FISH STOCKING AND LOCATIONS HERE

What else will I need to fish for trout?

There are some other bits and pieces that can make your trout fishing easier and more effective, but they’re not necessary when starting out. Waders are one of these freshwater fishing tools that you don’t need, but can help you in certain situations. They’re a great way to keep warm and dry when exploring the South West, and help you to reach locations people that want to keep their feet dry cannot. Polarised glasses help in nearly all fishing situations and help you to better spot fish and structure beneath the water’s surface.  Spotting fish in this way is something I’ve done in the clear waters of dams on a few occasions, though getting them to hit your lure is a different matter!

Shallow diving minnows work great for trout! Check out the rosy cheeks on this rainbow, looks like its beginning to colour up ready for spring.

A small landing net can be incredibly handy when you’re in the final moments of the fight and trying to subdue the slippery trout! Don’t forget your freshwater angling licence, required when fishing any freshwater body, above tidal influence. There is a licence- free weekend for freshwater fishing on the 31st of September and 1st of August, the same weekend as the Recfishwest’s Troutfest event at Drakesbrook dam. This may be a good opportunity to try freshwater fishing for free and explore the beautiful surrounding in WA’s South West.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LURES AND GEAR FOR TROUT FISHING, CLICK HERE.

Southwest Anglers Gutted at Fish Deaths

UPDATE 21/02/19

Readers may recall the deaths of Brown Trout in Big Brook Dam during January, believed to be a result of rapidly lowering water levels in the dam to undertake excavation and repair work on the embankment and pipes by the Water Corporation. Neither Recfishwest nor our Freshwater Fishing Reference Group were advised of this repair work.

Thanks to the quick thinking of some keen anglers a number of these prized fish were able to be saved, however, many fish needlessly perished.

At the time of this event, Recfishwest reported that we would work with relevant agencies to ensure the risk of fish kills were reduced in the future.

We are pleased to report that Recfishwest recently met with Water Corporation staff to determine how best we can work together to prevent future fish kills during remedial works on our dams.

Photo credit: Kelvin Ty

These fish are a valuable asset that has been paid for by recreational fishers (through licence fees) and when work on our dams is likely to threaten our assets it is only reasonable we are consulted about it.

Photo credit: Kelvin Tyj

Better consultation and early knowledge of planned work on our dams allows us to take action to significantly reduce the risk of fish deaths.

Water Corporation have committed to working in partnership with Recfishwest to ensure early communication of works on our dams, as well as strategies to reduce impacts on fish and fish habitat.

Recfishwest is pleased at the timeliness of this commitment and look forward to working together to ensure that quality fishing experiences remain throughout our Southwest.

Water Corporation have now committed to an increased level of monitoring of Big Brook Dam whilst the water level remains low and will implement actions such as water aeration should this be necessary to maintain water quality.

Recfishwest will continue to monitor the situation and keep our community updated.

 

 

 

Water Corporation Statement:

Fishers’ happy with plans to prevent further fish deaths

Water Corporation is installing water aeration pumps to improve oxygen concentrations at Big Brook Dam in Pemberton while it completes essential safety maintenance.

A range of mitigation strategies were discussed at a recent meeting with Recfishwest to look at options that would help reduce the impact on fish stocks at the dam when water levels are temporarily lowered.

Water Corporation South West Regional Manager, John Janssen said about 30 fish located in feeder creeks had sadly died recently when water levels were lowered to allow maintenance to go ahead.

“We are working closely with Recfishwest to help manage any further unforeseen impacts on recreational fishing activity at the dam,” Mr Janssen said.

“We will continue to closely monitor the introduced fish stocks in the Big Brook Dam while this maintenance work is carried out.

“The work we are doing at the dam is to ensure the dam will remain a safe and fantastic place to fish and recreate for many years to come.”

Matthew Gillett, Fishing Development Officer at Recfishwest said it was important to understand that trout would naturally swim upstream and struggle in the warmer weather.

“It is a rare event for more than one hundred more mature Brown Trout to be introduced at Big Brook Dam and fishers were looking forward to catching these. So we will work with Water Corporation to make sure the dam maintenance work can be completed, along with allowing fishing enthusiasts to still enjoy a good catch.” Mr Gillett said.

For more information about the Big Brook Dam Maintenance Work project please visit:
https://www.watercorporation.com.au/water-supply/ongoing-works/big-brook-dam-maintenance-work

 

Read the previous updates below.

Continue reading “Southwest Anglers Gutted at Fish Deaths”

Families wanted for Freshwater Fishing Fun!

After the success of last years event, Recfishwest would like to invite you once again to be part of something special and help us release trout by hand and celebrate all things freshwater fishing.

Event details: Saturday 1st September 2018

Starts at 10am to 1:30pm

Drakesbrook Weir, Weir Rd Waroona 6215

What to bring: the whole family with an appetite for fun! You’re welcome to also bring your own rods, lures, sunscreen, hats, weather proof clothing and picnic sets.

The day will include:

  • Trout Stocking – help us release over 2000 trout into the dam by hand
  • Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages (30 rods provided) – Members of the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Fishing Association will be on hand to teach you all about fishing in freshwater, along with our Recfishwest Fishing Clinic Instructors and NextWave Future Leaders Team Members
  • Fly Fishing Casting Demos – ever wanted to try your hand at fly casting? What better way to learn than from some of the WA’s top fly casters!
  • Freshwater Tackle and Rigging Information and Demonstrations – Learn all you need to know about tackle and rigging for freshwater fishing
  • Sausage sizzle and soft drinks hosted by the Waroona Lions Club

LICENCE FREE DAY Registrations FREE but essential.

Click here to register!

Relive the excitement from last years event!

 

FAQs

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is parking available at the event, however it is limited. Its best to get there early to get a good spot.

Map.

What can I bring into the event?

You’re welcome to bring chairs, fishing rods, bait and lures. You should also bring weather proof clothing, a change of clothes and /gumboots reef shoes.

We will have rods, lures and bait available however it will be limited.

You may also like to bring along a canoe/kayak.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

We will have a Facebook page where you can ask any questions leading up to the event, alternatively you can email info@recfishwest.org.au or call the office on (08) 9246 3366 between 9 -5pm Monday – Friday.

Where else can I fish if this event is full?

Harvey Dam, Waroona, Logue Brook Dam, Big Brook Dam, Warren River and Donelly River are all excellent places for freshwater fishing if this event is full.

 

Want to know more about upcoming events? Visit our Events Calendar.

Purple Fly Fishing – Casting for Recovery

 

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA have again teamed up to deliver the 3rd Purple Fly Fishing Program. Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Care WA is a Western Australian charity that provides personalised emotional, practical and financial support to people affected by breast cancer.

 

The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer. The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.

 

Breast Cancer Care WA support staff volunteer their time for the breast cancer clients for this program, and currently, the program is funded by a Recfishwest Community Grant. There are also plenty of community partners who donate goods and services to make the program as enjoyable as possible for the ladies.

The program offers participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery.

For many of the ladies, it was their first time participating in any form of fishing!

Wellness and mindful activities accompanied the fishing, but a sunset fish on Saturday and a Sunday sunrise session definitely were some of the fishing highlight’s as the dams came to life with Rainbow Trout firing and providing the ladies with some fishing excitement!!

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA are both not for profit organisations and are always open for new partnerships to help continue and grow the Purple Fly Fishing Program statewide. If your brand or organisation would like to come on board and support this life changing program, please contact Tim at recfish@recfishwest.org.au

Recfishwest would like to thank all of the community partners who got on board and threw their support behind the 2017 Purple Fly Fishing Program, including:

• Clover Cottage
• Shimano Australia
• Thomsons Bus Lines
• Holy Smoke, Smoke House
• Browns Dairy
• Farmhouse Pizza – Manjimup
• Innovations Catering
• Spud Shed Jandakot
• Sukin Skincare
• Pronto Fine Foods
• Quinni Tavern Holiday House
• Fairview Farmhouse
• Tall Timbers Manjimup
• Southern Forests Honey
________________________________________
Fact file:

• Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
• The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer.
• The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.
• The program offers participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery.

TroutFest Sheds New Light on Freshwater Fishing

After the success of last years event, Recfishwest would like to invite you once again to be part of something special and help us release trout by hand and celebrate all things freshwater fishing.

Event details: Saturday 1st September 2018

Starts at 10am to 1:30pm

Drakesbrook Weir, Weir Rd Waroona 6215

What to bring: the whole family with an appetite for fun! You’re welcome to also bring your own rods, lures, sunscreen, hats, weather proof clothing and picnic sets.

 

The day will include:

  • Trout Stocking – help us release over 2000 trout into the dam by hand
  • Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages (30 rods provided) – Members of the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Fishing Association will be on hand to teach you all about fishing in freshwater, along with our Recfishwest Fishing Clinic Instructors and NextWave Future Leaders Team Members
  • Fly Fishing Casting Demos – ever wanted to try your hand at fly casting? What better way to learn than from some of the WA’s top fly casters!
  • Freshwater Tackle and Rigging Information and Demonstrations – Learn all you need to know about tackle and rigging for freshwater fishing
  • Sausage sizzle and soft drinks hosted by the Waroona Lions Club

LICENCE FREE DAY Registrations FREE but essential.

Click to register! 

 

 

 


TroutFest 2017

Recfishwest’s first ever TroutFest was held on September 2, 2017. The event was a raging success, with thousands of Rainbow Trout being released into Drakesbrook Weir. The community came out in force as an estimated 500 people, comprising of mums, dads, kids, grandparents and fishing lovers, turned up to celebrate freshwater fishing. During the event there was a release of thousands of fingerlings, 400 yearlings and 70 ex-broodstock, these fish were a portion of the 600,000 fish that have been released this year by the Department of Primary Industries Regional Development, Fisheries Division.

Trout and about: Drakesbrook Weir played host to a Recfishwest public rainbow trout release. The aim is to stock the waterway with fish for recreational anglers.The event coincided with a statement from WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly removing the annual closed season of freshwater waterways.

Posted by ABC South West on Wednesday, 6 September 2017

TroutFest was a celebration of freshwater fishing and encouraged families and friends to head to a regularly stocked waterway and experience what freshwater fishing is all about. For many, this fishery was clouded in mystery, but after TroutFest participants realised it is about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA.

As well as the fish release, the event also included Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages, an education display by Fisheries, Fly Casting, Freshwater Tackle & Rigging Information and Demonstrations and general fishing time for everyone to have a go at freshwater fishing, and for most, it was the very first time.

Recfishwest would like to thank the members of WATFAA for sharing their passion of fly fishing with people on the day as well all of the other volunteers that attended and made TroutFest a memorable experience for all those involved.

TroutFest promotes sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and will help encourage freshwater fishing in the South West.

TroutFest is just one of many Recfishwest lead initiatives working towards improving habitat and fish stocks which build better environments that support your fishing.

 

 

Freshwater Licence Free Weekend & Recfishwest’s TroutFest

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today announced Western Australians can go freshwater fishing in the State’s South-West, licence-free next weekend (September 2-3, 2017).

The special weekend will celebrate the opening of the freshwater fishing season on September 1 and give people the chance to try their hand at freshwater angling for free.” Minister Kelly said.

“The State Government is committed to supporting the recreational fishing industry which is an important economic driver for WA. That is why the State Government is giving Western Australians the chance to go fishing in the South-West on September 2 and 3 without the need for a freshwater fishing licence.”

This event aims to be the Freshwater version of Snapper Guardians – a fun day out for the whole family to enjoy!

To celebrate the Minister’s announcement, Recfishwest is running ‘TroutFest’, a  great opportunity for families to spend quality time together outdoors and have a go at freshwater fishing, just in time for Father’s Day!

Recfishwest is teaming up with The Western Australian Trout & Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA), to run Perth’s biggest family freshwater event, TroutFest.

This event is set to highlight the fantastic fishing available at Drakesbrook Weir, where participants will have the opportunity to release trout grown at the hatchery in Pemberton. Trout are stocked every year by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and this year the public get to participate directly in improving freshwater fishing experiences.

Event details:
• Saturday 2nd of September 2017
• Starts at 10.00 am to 1.30 pm
• Drakesbrook Weir, Waroona.

The event will be held at the freshwater fishing hotspot Drakesbrook Weir

The day will include:
• Trout Stocking
• Freshwater Fishing Tuition for all ages
• Fly Casting
• Freshwater Tackle & Rigging Information and Demonstrations

TroutFest will be a great occasion for families and friends to get along to a regularly stocked waterway to experience what freshwater fishing is all about. Participants will also have access to WATFAA members who will provide expert advice and tutelage during their fly and lure casting lessons and tackle and rigging demonstrations.

For many, this fishery is clouded in mystery, where in reality it is all about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA. So why not bring the family along and be a part of something special?

TroutFest promotes sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe fishing for the benefit of the community and will help encourage freshwater fishing in the South West.

Due to the popularity of this event, registrations are essential so Recfishwest can provide the best possible experience for you and your family. So please register here

View the flyer here

For more on Fishing for Freshwater Trout, visit I Love Fishing here.

To view the Minister’s Media Statement, click here.

Pemberton Trout Hatchery

Freshwater Fishing in Good Hands

For the majority of West Aussies, fishing means jumping on a boat or heading to the coast and enjoying the fabulous saltwater fishing opportunities available. There is, however, the option to escape into the wilderness of the south-west and be swallowed up by the whole freshwater fishing experience.

Freshwater fishers will tell you there is no experience like it, as it is so incredibly different to any other type of fishing. Many people see freshwater fishing as the thing to do if you do not have access to the ocean or a boat. This is far from true, and often fishers become so enveloped with freshwater fishing that they live and breathe it.

Recfishwest strives for great fishing experiences for all in the WA community forever and many of our members feel this passionately about giving back to fishing in WA as well. It is these members that make up Recfishwest’s Freshwater Fishing Reference Group (FFRG) whose combined experience and knowledge go toward providing well-informed advice on behalf of the community around the management of freshwater fishing.

Chair of the FFRG, Ian Sewell, has been a long time avid fisher and works tirelessly with Recfishwest to ensure that there will be sustainable, accessible, enjoyable and safe freshwater fishing for generations to come.

“This dedicated group allocates where the available trout, which includes, fingerlings, yearlings and ex-brood stock will be stocked for the coming season as well as providing feedback on management issues that may affect this unique fishery.’’ He said.

With a mild wet summer, WA’s Put and Take Trout Fishery is looking set for a great 2017/2018 season. Stream flows have remained good over the summer period which is when most fish face their hardest times. In celebrating our unique freshwater fishing experience, the FFRG are pleased to announce the inaugural community stocking and fishing day, scheduled for September. This event is set to highlight the fantastic fishing available at Drakesbrook weir, where participants will have the opportunity to release trout grown at the hatchery in Pemberton, as well as receiving expert advice and tutelage on freshwater fishing from some of WA’s experts.

Freshwater Reference Group Chair Ian Sewell fishing in New Zealand.

“The community stocking and fishing day will be a great opportunity for families and friends to get along to a regularly stocked waterway to experience what freshwater fishing is all about. For many, this fishery is clouded in mystery where in reality it is all about getting into the bush, having a cast and enjoying some of the best parts of WA” Ian Sewell said.

For those interested in attending, please keep an eye on the Recfishwest website and social media channels for further information. Recfishwest wishes to acknowledge the fantastic work put in by the FFRG in ensuring the continued success of freshwater fishing in WA.

 

Purple Fly Fishing’s Second Year of Smiles

Fly fishing was just what the doctor ordered on a special weekend at Clover Cottage earlier this month. For the second year in succession, fly fishing experts descended on picturesque Clover Cottage, Manjimup, on the banks of the Warren River, to teach 15 ladies from Breast Cancer Care WA the art of fly casting.

The Purple Fly Weekend follows on from the success of last year’s event and previous Pink Fly Fishing Days which were regularly held in Perth. Members of the West Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association were among those who donated their time to offer assistance, in what was a very calm and educational environment for the ladies to learn in. The motion of fly casting has been proven to be beneficial for recovery for women who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment for breast cancer. The gentle casting motion helps to promote soft tissue stretching and improve joint mobility for women recovering from surgery and those managing lymphedema.

Breast Cancer Care WA support staff volunteered their time and were joined by breast cancer clients, with the weekend funded by a Recfishwest Community Grant. The weekend offered participants a hands-on introduction to fly fishing and an opportunity to get outdoors while learning a unique form of fishing that can aid in their recovery. Great weather greeted the group and the ladies enjoyed a dry casting session on the Friday after a bonding session on the bus on the way down from Perth.

After more casting practice, around half a dozen trout were caught by the ladies on the Saturday morning with persistence the key, as for many, this was their first time participating in any form of fishing! Wellness and mindful activities followed, with a sunset fish to round out the day, with more Rainbow Trout taking a liking to the flies as they landed on the surface of the water.

Each year in Australia over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one in eight women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast Cancer Care WA is a Western Australian charity that provides personalised emotional, practical and financial support to people affected by breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Care WA received no government funding and their activities are entirely reliant on the generosity of the Western Australian community. It is famous for the charity event Purple Bra Day, raising funds and awareness for breast cancer clients.
Recfishwest would like to thank all of the community partners who got on board and threw their support behind the Purple Fly Fishing Program, including:

• Clover Cottage
Paul & Petrina Thomsett
• Shimano Australia
Leroy Horton
• Kin Kin Retreat and Farmstay
Leanne & Greg
• Holey Smoke Smoke House
Anthony
• Potato Karri Country Gourmet Potatoes
Samantha and Carlo Pessotto
• Woodgate Wines
Mark
• Bannister Downs Dairy
Sue Daubney
• Farmhouse Pizza – Manjimup
Michelle Pitt
• Innovations Catering
Bob Rawlinson and the team

Recfishwest and Breast Cancer Care WA are both not for profit organisations and are always open for new partnerships to help continue and grow the Purple Fly Fishing Program. If your brand or organisation would like to come on board and support this life changing program, please contact Tim at recfish@recfishwest.org.au

2016 Freshwater Season Open – Media Release

More Fish in the Water as Freshwater Season Kicks Off

The 2016 South West freshwater fishing season is looking to be one of the best on record, with healthy amounts of rain providing good stream flows to allow for an awesome fishing experience in this serene and tranquil part of the state.
Recfishwest’s Regional Policy Officer Matt Gillett said that the winter rains will provide support to record numbers of trout being released this year, bred from the highly successful Pemberton Trout Hatchery. This stock will be further supported in their growth by higher water levels and stream flows in recent months.

“In addition, it is predicted that the combination of healthy habitat and healthy brood stock (ex-breeding fish) should provide a flow on effect down the track for better quality fishing into the summer months”, Mr Gillett said.

To provide a more accessible and enjoyable fishing experience for the whole community, those under 16 years of age will no longer be required to hold a South West Freshwater Angling licence, meaning families can enjoy fishing in the South West, without having to worry about licences for the kids.

Recfishwest, through their Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to the Department of Fisheries on appropriate trout stocking locations. “This year key locations include the Warren River, Collie Gorge, Donnelly River, Blackwood River, Lefroy Brook and the Murray River” Mr Gillett said.

Over the past four years over 2.3 million trout fry have been released in the South West as well as approximately 100,000 Rainbow Trout yearlings and over 10,000 Rainbow and Brown trout ex brood stock, proving the value the community place on trout restocking. Fishers will also be able to target feral competitor species such as Redfin Perch without a bag limit as per usual and are urged to not return them to the water when caught but we recommend keeping Redfin as they are a prized table fish known for their tasty white flesh.

The South West Freshwater Season opens on 1 September 2016 and runs until 30 June 2017. For more on previous years stocking locations and numbers, visit http://ilovefishing.com.au/2016/03/21/freshwater-stocking/