A man in waders standing in the water holding a trout

Hooked on Tassie fishing?

24 August 2018

Day One of the trout season is a highlight in most angler’s calendars.

While there are more and more lakes and rivers now open for year-round fishing (14 to be exact), the three-month closure of remaining waters can seem an eternity for some. August brings chilly conditions, but fresh opportunities!

I must admit to being a fair weather angler who only ventures forth if the stars (and weather) align. But they say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, and my wardrobe is bulging with polar fleece jackets, goose down “Tassie Tuxedos”, goretex waders and merino thermals. So there’s really no excuse for not getting out there.

Perhaps I’ll revisit some “secret spots” I haven’t looked at for a while…

There is plenty of water about and many of our hydro storages are filling well or are on spill.  While some will head straight to the highlands for opening weekend, lower altitudes and warmer temperatures help trout emerge from their winter torpor.  Waters such as Four Springs Lake, Brushy Lagoon, Huntsman Lake, Lake Leake, Tooms Lake are popular early season waters. For those keen on river fishing, the South Esk and Macquarie River can be very productive under bank full flows.

Tasmania’s sea run trout fishery can also be fantastic under the right conditions. Once the flows subside and the whitebait appear, sea run brown trout can be targeted in the lower reaches of many rivers around the state.

Angling’s a big part of Tasmanian culture (with about 25,000 people holding a licence to fish inland waters), and Hydro Tasmania’s lakes play a crucial and enduring role.

It’s fitting that Hydro’s a major sponsor of the 2019 FIPS Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships on home turf. Four of our waterways have been shortlisted as competition venues - Woods, Penstock, Little Pine and Bronte, and we’re working with organisers to promote Tassie angling in its very best light.

Hydro Tasmania has the naming rights for the Penstock Lagoon venue, and we recently upgraded the road access and campground at that increasingly popular spot. We’re using rafts to keep an eye on water quality in Penstock and Little Pine in the lead up to the event, to complement the rafts we have more permanently at Woods, Arthurs, and Great Lake. There’s more information on the World Championships at www.wffc2019.com.

Our Water Level MOU with the Inland Fisheries Service covers eight Tasmanian lakes – Bronte Lagoon, Laughing Jack Lagoon, Penstock Lagoon, Arthurs Lake, Woods Lake, Little Pine Lagoon, Shannon Lagoon and Lake Augusta. Five of these waterways are in the top-six most popular identified by IFS in its survey of anglers, and we’re getting positive feedback on their performance. Indeed, four of them being shortlisted for next year’s World Championships, which is a strong endorsement. The performance of Arthurs Lake is still fickle but showing signs of improvement, and recent Inland Fisheries Service assessments of this waterway have been encouraging.

Hydro and the IFS have a strong relationship with Marine and Safety Tasmania, which helps us develop the boat ramps, jetties and pontoons that let anglers make the most of our waterways. We recently applied successfully for funds to upgrade boat launching facilities at Tungatinah Lagoon and Lake Rowallan. Once finished, the work will provide safer access at a much wider range of water levels. For more information on our recreational facilities jump on the “Things to do” section of Hydro Tasmania’s website.

The 2018 Hydro Tasmania Cressy Community Trout Expo is on again at Brumby’s Creek at Cressy on 22 and 23 September. It’s a family friendly event with heaps of great prizes for people who put their angling prowess on display.  There’s more information at tasmaniantroutexpo.com.au.

Hydro Tasmania’s overall storage level is 45.2 per cent as of 30 July. Energy-wise, that’s an extremely secure level, and well ahead of the same time last year (37.1 per cent at 31 July 2017 – itself a solid figure). We hope that contributes to some excellent fishing conditions in our lakes and lagoons. Don’t forget you can check the lake levels on our website.

We take pride in supporting the activities Tasmanians live, and wish you a very enjoyable and productive angling season.

David Ikedife
Senior Aquatic Scientist – Hydro Tasmania

This opinion editorial first appeared in The Examiner on 4 August 2018




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