Recreational anglers could be fishing for trout cod in two lakes near the historic town of Beechworth in the future thanks to a stocking program carried out by Fisheries Victori.
Fisheries Victoria Executive Director Anthony Hurst said surveys undertaken earlier this year had found promising numbers of trout cod at both Lake Kerferd and Lake Sambell.
Mr Hurst said the surveys by Fisheries Victoria scientists followed the stocking of 15,700 trout cod into the lakes between 2008 and this year.
'Our scientists carried out surveys in May this year to assess the survival rate and growth of the trout cod we have stocked into the two lakes over the past four years,' Mr Hurst said.
'The scientists found reasonable numbers of trout cod at Lake Kerferd, with fish from each of the stocking years present.
'They detected smaller numbers of the species in Lake Sambell but enough to provide us with encouragement that it stands a good chance of becoming a successful recreational fishery for trout cod in the years to come.'
Mr Hurst said the survey at Lake Kerferd detected trout cod in reasonable numbers along the dam wall, with 34 fish sampled ranging from 7cm to 32cm in length.
He reminded anglers that trout cod in these two waters and elsewhere in Victoria remain protected and if caught accidentally must be returned to the water unharmed.
'If the stocked trout cod continue to survive and grow well in lakes Sambell and Kerferd, Fisheries Victoria hopes to formally open a limited recreational fishery for them in years to come,' he said.
For more about fish stocking visit DPI Victoria Fisheries website