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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Staff manually harvesting eggs from a female trout

Our Pemberton hatchery produces and releases trout to support and enhance the recreational freshwater fishing experience.

Thursday 2 November 2017

Future looks bright for trout fishing

​Trout fishers have reasons to be excited for the future as 600,000 rainbow and 20,000 brown trout fry were released into south-west rivers and dams during September.

Western Australia’s recreational freshwater anglers can now enjoy their sport all year round following a major change to the seasonal closure announced in September.

The numbers of fry (very young trout) released in 2017 will determine how many legal-sized trout are available to catch during the 2019/20 season.

In addition, the release of 35,500 yearling trout, including 6,500 browns, has just been completed. All these trout have been produced at our Pemberton Freshwater Research Centre, which also stocked 2,470 rainbow and 230 brown ex-broodstock trout into waterways over the last year.

While these larger fish are stocked for recreational angling, they also play an important role in controlling redfin perch, a feral species.

Seasonal temperatures have been mild throughout the autumn and winter breeding cycle, which is supporting favourable conditions for new stocks of brown trout and rainbow trout. The trout produced at the research centre are unique because they have adapted to withstand the higher temperatures that occur in Western Australia.

Our trout hatchery has reported good egg quantity and quality from females, and the males are also performing well with fertilisation rates being on, or above, last year’s totals.

The trout are artificially spawned, with staff manually harvesting the eggs from females and milt from males. The eggs and milt are then combined and, after fertilisation, are washed and stored in incubators, purposely designed for fish eggs, over which filtered water flows for maximum aeration. Once hatched, the fry are grown for three months before being released.

In consultation with Recfishwest, selected waterways are annually restocked with trout as part of a controlled program.

Don’t forget, anglers aged 16 and over need a freshwater angling licence to fish in south-west rivers and dams.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules.

You can also download our Recreational freshwater angling guide or pick up a copy from our offices and participating information outlets. 

Last modified: 2/11/2017 12:52 PM

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