The waters Murray cod fishers want to see open year-round

In February, we called on Victorian recreational fishers to share which stocked Victorian waterways they want to see become year-round Murray cod fisheries.


In the 2022/23 stocking season, more than 3-million Murray cod were stocked in Victorian waterways.

In recent years, the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA), with support from VRFish and recreational fishers, have opened selected waterways to year-round Murray cod fishing (removed the Murray cod closed season)

In 2016, the VFA removed the Murray Cod closed season at Lake Eildon, and in 2023, the VFA removed the closed season for all waters of the Wimmera and Millicent basins, except the Wimmera River.

We’ve seen the success of Eildon and we’re waiting with ‘baited’ breath for Rocklands to come online.

These waters were opened for year-round Murray cod fishing because:

  • Research into Murray cod populations has found that natural breeding and recruitment lakes and impoundments is typically very low, meaning the closed season has very little benefit.
  • Millions of Murray cod are stocked annually into these waters, creating put-and-take Murray cod fisheries.
  • Year-round Murray cod fisheries in lakes and impoundments shift fishing pressure from nearby natural systems (rivers), where Murray cod do breed during the closed season.
  • Year-round Murray cod fishing in lakes and impoundments can provide a boost to regional businesses through increased fishing tourism visitation between September-December.

The current regulations for Murray cod fishing in Victoria can be viewed here.


A total of 1036 respondents had their say by responding to the survey.

Provided with a list of lakes and impoundments that are currently stocked with Murray cod by the Victorian Fisheries Authority, we asked fishers to select up to 3 waters or add in their own suggested waterway that they’d like to see become a year-round Murray cod fishery.

The lakes and impoundments listed in the survey were identified as being stocked with Murray cod by the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) through the Vic Fish Stock plan.


Question 1: Please select which waterways you’d like to see become a year-round Murray cod fishery (select up to 3) or add a suggested waterway in the comment box.

Respondents were asked to select up to 3 options from the listed stocked Murray cod waterways or select ‘other’ to suggest another, unlisted waterway.

More than 400 recreational fishers want to see Lake Eppalock become a year-round Murray cod fishery.

Graph showing Q1 results


Question 2: What is your residential post code?

We received responses from recreational fishers from 355 different residential post codes.

The top 10 postcodes included three are from the Bendigo region (3551, 3550, 3555), two in the Melbourne region (3030, 3429), and one from each of the following areas Ballarat region (3350), Shepparton region (3630), Wangaratta region (3677), Echuca region (3564), and Wodonga region (3690).

VRFish will be able to take the feedback to the Victorian Fisheries Authority and advocate for the most popular stocked waterways, where suitable, to be considered as year-round Murray cod fisheries, like we successfully advocated for with the Wimmera and Millicent basins (except the Wimmera River).

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)