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Captain's Blog

Barrumundi heading south to Hazelwood

  Published May 2nd, 2016

Barramundi will be stocked in Gippsland (Vic) for the first time with the first batch of 1600 barramundi into Hazelwood Pondage earlier this week.

This is another significant milestone for the Victorian Government in delivering  its Target One Million plan to grow recreational fishing. The release is a key step in the development of this new fishery, following successful tank-based acclimatisation trials which indicated the species could survive in pondage water. Barramundi are usually only found in northern Australia, however the unusually warm water in the pondage may provide Victorian anglers with the chance to cast a line for the iconic species much closer to home.

Three size classes of barramundi were released this week consisting of 1000 fingerlings at 5cm, 500 fish at 10cm and 100 larger barramundi measuring 30cm. Fifteen of the larger fish carry acoustic tags to track their movements so more can be learned about their behaviour and preferred habitats. Several listening stations have been positioned throughout the pondage and will monitor tagged fish movements and log water temperatures.

To optimise the stocking trial and fish movement investigation, the pondage will be closed to all recreational fishing for six months. This will allow barramundi growth rates, diet composition, flesh quality and aggregation patterns to be studied without active fishing pressure.

Fisheries Victoria, recreational anglers and other project partner organisations that comprise the Barramundi Working Group will then consider the results of the stocking trial and, pending the results, progress plans to formally open the fishery in consultation with other recreational users.

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.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said,  “This is a big step forward to developing Victoria’s first barramundi fishery for recreational anglers – and also a key milestone in our Target One Million plan to increase recreational fishing.”

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing added, “Anglers from all over Victoria and interstate have been waiting a long time for barramundi to go into the Hazelwood Pondage - this is a massive boost for fishing and for the Latrobe Valley.”

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Darren Finkelstein - 'The Boat Guy'

Darren Finkelstein is 'The Boat Guy' with over 35 years of boating experience to share.

Author of the award winning bestseller:
Honey, let's buy a BOAT! and follow up sequel; Honey, let's go BOATING! which highlights the BEST 101 places to go boating in Victoria. 

Considered by many as an industry expert, Darren has an active media presence. You will often hear him on radio, view his video blogs, read his articles or watch him on the international stage at boat shows, corporate and lifestyle events.  

Together with business partner Andrew Rose, they buy, sell, service, repair, fuel and maintain power boats offering advice to prospective boat owners around Australia as Dealer Principals and co-owners of St Kilda Boat Sales an industry accredited dealer and broker with an enviable client base. St Kilda Boat Sales has boat sales offices located at both St Kilda Marina and Wyndham Harbour.

Listen to Darren on radio 3AW as he delivers his unique Beach N' Bay reports <live> this summer. Watch Darren on Foxtel and ch7 presenting for the TV show "All About Boats", he is an on-screen presenter and ambassador for "Life's Better With A Boat" campaign for the Boating Industry Association. In addition, Darren is the proud boating ambassador for Wyndham Harbour, Melbourne’s new centre for recreational boating on the north-western side of Port Phillip.

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