Exciting new chapter for the Gippsland Lakes

VRFish, the peak body representing Victorian recreational fishers, is excited for a new chapter to begin at the iconic Gippsland Lakes.

As of 1 April, all ten Gippsland Lakes commercial net licensees exited the fishery after accepting a compensation package from the State Government.

VRFish Chairman Rob Loats said “We congratulate the Andrews Labor Government on delivering another significant election commitment to make recreational fishing even better for Victorians.”

“The Government’s Target One Million policy continues to transform recreational fishing to new heights and receives widespread acclaim by recreational fishers.”

With the exit of the commercial net fishery, it will allow the Gippsland Lakes to become Victoria’s largest estuarine recreational fishing haven. The Lakes are home to iconic black bream, estuary perch and dusky flathead. 

“These reforms are a game-changer and will boost the quality of recreational fishing by immediately making available nearly 200 tonnes of fish annually that would otherwise be netted by the commercial sector.”

“A better-quality recreational fishery will deliver even more important economic benefits to local Gippsland businesses.”

Recreational fishing is worth $381 million to the Gippsland Region generating over 2,400 full-time jobs. On average, recreational fishers spend $328 dollars on each trip chasing fish around Victoria.

Recreational fishers will also be stepping up to the plate in a stewardship role for the fishery. 

“VRFish is now putting our effort into contributing to a fish recovery plan with our fishery and catchment managers.”

“Recreational fishers are dedicated to protecting the fishing future of the Gippsland Lakes. While we are unable to go out fishing during the current viral pandemic, it does give us the opportunity to work with fishers to ensure the fish recovery plan will achieve the best outcomes for our fishery.”

A recent survey of fishers reinforced our position that a fish stocking program, fish habitat restoration and a review of recreational fishing rules are supported by fishers as actions to increase our catch rates and improve fishing quality over time.

VRFish advocated for the implementation of a formal fishery recovery plan for Victoria’s iconic Gippsland Lakes Fishery in the lead up to the last Victorian State Election. 

Recommended for you

Subscribe to our mailing list

Join our 50,000+ subscribers in receiving our Fishing Lines News delivered straight to your inbox. Don’t miss out on all the issues affecting your fishing, projects improving your fishing and opportunities to have your say about your fishery.

* indicates required
Communication Preferences (tick all that apply)