Research funded by recreational fishing licence revenue is providing anglers with valuable information on two of Victoria’s largest freshwater fisheries.
More than 25,000 'ready-to-catch' rainbow trout are being released into 54 small lakes across Victoria this school holiday
Using Geographic Information System (GIS) modeling, scientists from the Fisheries Research Branch outlined the extent of trout habitat in Lake Dartmouth and Lake Hume.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Anthony Hurst, said trout can be difficult for anglers to catch during summer when warmer waters restrict them to a small section of the lake.
'Scientists have estimated how much habitat is available for trout at particular times of the year and mapped areas which are within the tolerance range for trout,' Mr Hurst said 'Lake Hume experiences a greater reduction in suitable habitat over the warmer months of summer because it is wide and shallow.
'Most trout habitat in Lake Hume is available in winter months – May through to October.'
Based on their research, scientists have developed TroutNAV – a handy ‘ready reckoner’ to guide anglers to summer ‘hang-outs’ preferred by trout.
In the summer months, anglers in Lake Hume are most likely to find trout close to river inflows, especially the Mitta Mitta River, and at depths greater than four metres. However, during winter anglers should be fishing within six metres of the surface.
At Lake Dartmouth, anglers are more likely to find trout in depths between nine and 47 metres during summer and within the top 43 metres during winter.
These results provide freshwater fishers with useful insights into how to best target trout in Hume and Dartmouth no matter what the season.