Gippsland Lakes Fishery Plan

Click here to view the Draft Gippsland Lakes Recreational Fishery Plan

We are calling on all recreational fishers to have a read of the Draft Gippsland Lakes Recreational Fishery Plan and provide your input to make sure the plan is taking the right steps to return the lakes to a recreational fishing mecca.

VRFish advocated for a formal fish recovery plan for the Gippsland Lakes fishery to address factors suppressing the natural recruitment of our estuarine fish species, including habitat improvement and mitigating saline intrusion, and implementing a restocking program.

In 2019, VRFish conducted a survey with 683 recreational fishers which demonstrated the active role fishers wanted to play in the recovery of their fishery.

Respondents’ highest priorities were restoring fish habitat, establishing a fish stocking program for black bream, dusky flathead and estuary perch, followed by reviewing recreational fishing management and improving environmental flows.

Our survey showed there is strong support by recreational fishers to improve the quality of their fishing experience by reducing the daily bag limit for black bream and to introduce a ‘slot limit’ to protect large black bream. Black bream stocks are currently classified as ‘depleting’ by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation’s fish status report.

From 1 April this year commercial netting has been removed from the Gippsland Lakes, and will result in a major increase in fish abundance and accelerating the recovery of the fishery.

The Plan provides a road map to restoring fish stocks and recreational fishing opportunities through a six-point plan including:

  1. Involvement of recreational fishers, traditional owners and community partners
  2. New regulations for recreational fishing, including changes to catch and size limits for iconic species such as black bream
  3. Fish stocking throughout the Lakes system
  4. Improving fish habitat and waterway health
  5. Monitoring the success of our actions
  6. Review our processes

VRFish would like to hear your thoughts about the plan so that we can continue to advocate for the best outcome for our fishing and our fishery. You can drop us a line at [email protected].

You can make a formal submission to the Victorian Fisheries Authority via improving[email protected] by 28 October 2020.

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