Fish numbers receive a welcome boost

10/02/2010:   More than 80,000 golden perch and 40,000 silver perch were released into Burrinjuck Dam today, as part of the NSW Government's Freshwater stocking program.

A further 14,000 silver perch were also released into Lake Wyangan at Griffith today.

The fish were bred at Industry & Investment NSW Narrandera Fisheries Centre, where staff manage a productive hatchery that provides fingerlings for four native fish species, to improve freshwater recreational fisheries and conservation initiatives.

NSW hatchery manager at Narrandera Fisheries Centre, Stephen Thurstan, said these releases add to the 60,000 Murray cod already released into Burrinjuck Dam in early January with assisted from local angling club members, who help distribute the fish around the dam to improve their chances of survival.

"Both the golden perch and Murray cod released into Burrinjuck are marked with a harmless dye, as part of the Recreational Fishing Trust's funded research to assess stocking success," Mr Thurstan said.

"Marked fish are also being stocked into the Murrumbidgee and Copeton Dam, in the north of the State, as part of this research."

The native fish stocking program releases more than a million fish each year to about a 100 dams around the State to boost recreational fishing.

The program is supported by funds from the recreational fishing fee.

So far this season 73,000 trout cod, 295,000 Murray cod, 568,000 golden perch and 54,000 silver perch have been released with many more to come before the season finishes in April.

Mr Thurstan said the program also stocks large numbers of the endangered fish species - trout cod. This year the program reached a significant milestone with the one millionth trout cod being released since research into the species began in 1986.

"Trout cod numbers have flourished in many of the stocked areas and anglers need to be aware that they are protected species and should be immediately returned unharmed to the water," he said.

"Anglers should be careful not to confuse the trout cod with the Murray cod. The trout cod can be identified by its overhanging upper jaw, a stripe through the eye and spotted marking.

"The trout cod is one of the State's most endangered fish, but has a good chance of making a comeback thanks to the NSW Government's trout cod recovery program."

via Industry and Investment NSW