Back in 2012, there was a fish escape from the Yarra Valley Caviar facility located on the banks of the Rubicon River. Rumors have it that a wombat dug a hole through the side of one of the ponds which resulted in the escape of several thousand Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon which found their way into the neighboring river.
Two years on and at nearly the same time of year, another group of fish (again both Brook Trout and Atlantic Salmon) found their way into the river, which begs to ask whether these “escapes” are accidental or deliberate. Although there is Anecdotal evidence to support both we will probably never really know the true reason why these fish ended up in the river.
Although commonly called a Trout, the Brook Trout is actually a member of the Char Family. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada. Brook trout are only found in a few select waters in Australia none of which are located in Victoria.
There is much debate on social media as to whether they are a good thing for the river or not. Some anglers hoping that they form a self sustaining population while others fear they will have a detrimental effect on resident brown and rainbow trout through increased competition.
Regardless of all this however, the escape gives Victorian anglers a great chance at catching one of these fish to tick off their bucket list.
A reminder that it is now closed season for trout fishing in Victorian Rivers (Monday 9th June, to midnight on Friday 5th September 2014.)
For those that wish to take a feed, Brook trout are subject to specific regulations that place a bag limit and possession limit of five fish per day, with no minimum or maximum size as opposed to other listed trout species.
Here’s a few photos from a trip Rodi and myself took several weeks ago when news of the escape first surfaced. These are just a few of the 60+ fish that we caught for the day.