Victorian Barramundi: Come And Get It

Recreational anglers in Victoria will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to catch barramundi in Hazelwood starting next week.
From Friday 9 December, residents and keen anglers will be able to catch Barramundi at the Hazelwood pondage. Latrobe Valley locals will also get their own unique family open weekend from 4 February, 2017.
The new fishery will give keen anglers from across the state the rare opportunity to cast a line for the iconic species for the first time ever in Victorian waters.
The pondage was previously closed to all fishing to allow the stocked Barramundi to grow and be monitored by Fisheries Victoria staff, who tested the Barramundi’s diet composition, flesh quality and aggregation patterns.
Fisheries experts have carefully monitored progress of the stocked barramundi since April through leading research methods including acoustic tagging and listening stations, water temperature loggers and electro-fishing.
The daily bag limit for Hazelwood barramundi has been set at 1 per person per day.
Given the unique nature of this body of water, an independent human health food safety risk assessment found that the consumption of barramundi is safe at recommended levels of 2-3 serves per week.
Boosting participation in recreational fishing is the primary aim of the Labor Government’s Target One Million plan, which aims to increase angler numbers to one million by 2020 and get more people fishing, more often.
Due to the immense popularity in the fishery, a “Barra Ballot” will open today for all boat based fishers. The “Barra Ballot” will be open until 14 December and successful applicants will be randomly selected.
To register your interest visit www.vic.gov.au/barra
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford
“Our most sought after fishery is officially open for business! Fishing for barramundi at Hazelwood really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many Victorian anglers.”
“This is a win for recreational anglers across Victoria and a win for the Latrobe Valley – bringing more visitors to the region and getting more people fishing more often. And yes you can eat them!”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This is a unique opportunity for Latrobe Valley locals to try their luck at catching a Barra, at the same time giving the local economy a boost – anglers from all over Victoria and Australia are heading our way for what promises to be some spectacular fishing over the next six months.”

Published on December 1, 2016