Trout stocking to help fishers reel in freshwater fishing fun at Drakesbrook

WA's peak recreational fishing body Recfishwest is hosting its annual Troutfest community stocking event to showcase WA's trout and freshwater fishery.

Run in partnership with the Shire of Waroona and supported by Alcoa, Whitey's Tackle and Camping and Anaconda Bunbury, thousands of trout of various sizes will be hand-released into Drakesbrook Weir on October 3.

Troutfest celebrates WA's fantastic freshwater fisheries, with thousands of freshwater anglers fishing the South West and the Peel regions' freshwater waterways each year.

As well as community trout stocking, the event will feature free fly-casting tuition, fly-tying demonstrations and the opportunity to catch a trout.

More than 300 people attended last year's event at Drakesbrook, highlighting how freshwater fishing is valued as a safe, easily accessible and fun fishing experience for many WA fishers.

"Troutfest is part of a carefully managed stocking program, using hatchery-reared trout grown from freshwater fishing licence revenue to enhance the fishery and therefore provide better fishing for all," Recfishwest chief Dr Andrew Rowland said.

"From Waroona to Pemberton, freshwater fishing is a popular pastime giving anglers the chance to catch a great species with some fantastic WA country as a backdrop and helps boost the Peel and South West regional economy.

"We believe there is massive potential for expanding the freshwater stocking program and fishery, with no reason why participation in freshwater fishing couldn't and shouldn't double in the next three to five years.

"Changing up the stocking regime, putting in place a more robust research program associated with it and exploring new potential freshwater fishing locations and species could evolve and secure the fishery well into the future."

Each year, trout are stocked at various popular freshwater fishing rivers and dams, including Drakesbrook.

The released trout are bred at Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Pemberton trout hatchery as part of its trout stocking program.

Recfishwest, through its Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group, offers advice to DPIRD on where to stock each year's stock of bred trout in the South West.

Thousands of fry, advanced yearlings and ex-brood stock will be hand-released into Drakesbrook Weir at Troutfest.

As an added incentive to give trout fishing a go, 3-4 October has been made a freshwater licence-free weekend.

This means you and the family can rock up to Troutfest without having to buy a South West freshwater fishing licence.

To sign-up for the Troutfest event at Drakesbrook Weir on October 3 from 10am to 1pm, click here: Troutfest-2020-tickets.