New plan to safeguard future of Gippsland Lakes fishery

The Victorian Government is investing in science and habitat restoration in the Gippsland Lakes, releasing a plan to safeguard the future of one of the state’s key fisheries.

Local residents and businesses are encouraged to have their say on the proposal, which will help return the lakes to a recreational fishing mecca.

Earlier this year, commercial netting was removed from the Gippsland Lakes, paving the way for the plan and delivering a key commitment of the Government’s $35 million Target One Million project.

The last of the 10 commercial licences finished in April, handing back the fishery to recreational users.

By improving habitat, installing artificial reefs, increasing stocks and consulting on bag and size limits, the plan will help accelerate the recovery of key species such as black bream and dusky flathead.

Recreational fishing contributes $380 million to the Gippsland economy each year and the plan will improve catch rates and fish stocks, leading to better fisher satisfaction and more tourism.

A steering committee will also be established once the plan is finalized, to oversee its implementation and a subsequent review after five years.

The draft plan will be released for public comment for a period of six weeks and is available at vfa.vic.gov.au/gippslandlakes.