Anglers with a taste for Murray cod will soon be able to add Junee to their list of potential fishing spots.
The town’s Park Dam has this week been stocked with 300 Murray cod fingerlings, after a successful “catch-a-carp” competition in March 2018.
It is hoped that the cod will eventually lure recreational anglers to Junee.
Park Dam has been declared a registered fishing hole by the Department of Primary Industries and is on the state stocking register, which means Fisheries NSW will conduct annual release of Murray cod and golden perch at the lake.
Junee Shire Council’s general manager James Davis said the arrival of the first fingerlings was great news for both the lake and the town.
“We have been eagerly waiting for the fish and quantity to be sizeable enough to be released into the lake,” Mr Davis said.
“Park Dam is already a very popular spot for locals and we hope that with this injection of new fish, it will continue to provide locals and visitors to Junee with great family friendly fishing and recreational area.”
Martin Asmus, a fisheries scientist for the NSW Department of Primary Industries who is based at the Narrandera Fisheries Centre and oversaw the release of the fingerlings, said fishing remained a popular activity in the region.
“Fishing itself is pretty common and a popular pastime, which is well supported by the NSW Government. It is also a good form of tourism,” he said.
According to the DPI, restocking programs are already working successfully all over NSW.
In August, Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair announced that Blowering Dam would be open for Murray cod fishing all year-round, following research on the success of stocked fish in the dam.
“The decision to remove the closure will provide an increased economic and social benefit to Tumut and surrounding local businesses, which derive income from fishing-related expenditure,” Mr Blair said.
DPI senior fisheries manager-inland Cameron Westaway said about 90 per cent of the Murray cod population in Blowering Dam are stocked fish.
“These results indicate that the dam is heavily reliant on stocked fish recruitment, with very little natural fish recruitment,” Mr Westaway said.
“Murray cod are a prized catch in the Murray-Darling system. They’re Australia’s largest freshwater fish, growing up to 1.8 metres in length and weighing more than 100 kilograms,” he said.
Away from Blowering, the closed season for Murray cod remains in place in all other waters between September and November for breeding season.