Recovery Program Bringing Maccas Back To North-East

VIC Premier

The comeback of one of Victoria’s iconic native fish continues to gain momentum, with more Macquarie perch stocked into waterways in the state’s north-east.

Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny said more than 185,000 fingerlings had been stocked since the start of 2022, including 40,000 in recent weeks, as the Andrews Labor Government rebuilds wild populations of the endangered species and restores flood-affected aquatic ecosystems.

A $5 million investment has gone towards the next major phase of work at the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Snobs Creek hatchery, which produced the fingerlings stocked last month.

Staff at Snobs Creek and interstate fisheries agencies have worked for many years to identify ways to consistently produce Macquarie perch in the hatchery environment.

The hatchery project will modernise ageing infrastructure, construct more breeding ponds and build a dedicated fish holding facility to assist producing large numbers of Macquarie perch and trout cod to re-establish wild populations.

A separate new hatchery is also being built at Snobs Creek in partnership with the Commonwealth Government to focus on threatened native fish.

An additional Labor Government investment of $10m will triple the size of the new Arcadia native fish hatchery near Shepparton, which already produces golden perch and will produce more Murray cod, freeing up capacity for other species at Snobs Creek.

The 40,000 Macquarie perch fingerlings produced this year were stocked into the Ovens River (10,500), Buffalo River (10,500), Goulburn River between Yea and Trawool (8300), King River (4950), Cudgewa Creek (3000), Hughes Creek (2000) and Lake Dartmouth (1650).

Stockings have been complemented by instream fish habitat and riverbank improvement works conducted by locals, the Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, Landcare volunteers, recreational fishers and traditional owner groups.

Recreational fishing licence fees, local catchment management authorities and a Landcare-led Bushfire Recovery Grant have also supported the habitat improvement efforts.

As stated by Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny

“Macquarie perch are on the comeback trail and our investment into facilities at the Snobs Creek hatchery will help ensure wild populations of these important native fish can thrive for future generations.”

“With dedicated facilities for endangered and threatened native species at Snobs Creek and an expanded Arcadia hatchery near Shepparton, Victoria’s fisheries and waterways will be in great shape for years to come.”

/Public Release. View in full here.