I was pleased to witness 5,000 Australian Bass fingerlings take to their new home in Lake Toolooma, as part of the NSW Government’s annual Freshwater Fish Stocking Plan.

Today’s top-up is great news for keen fishers eager to cast a line in the region.

The Australian Bass is an iconic fish species and it gives me great pleasure to see its numbers boosted in the Heathcote area. While these ones might be small now, they can grow up to 65 centimetres long and weigh in at four kilograms, so our local anglers will be keen to reel in such a prized catch.

These fingerlings come from the NSW Government’s hatcheries as part of the commitment to ensure that our waterways are full of healthy fish.

Initiatives such as the Freshwater Fish Stocking Plan are important for the recreational fishing community because of the critical role they play in conservation, tourism and added economic benefits.

The 5,000 fingerlings stocked into Lake Toolooma are part of more than 50,000 which will be released into waterways across NSW this week.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) does an excellent job in making sure our State’s recreational fishers have the chance to do what they love by breeding and releasing such mammoth numbers of fish stocks.

DPI has chosen Lake Toolooma because the expert team has deemed it to be among the best waterways in NSW to see these fingerlings flourish.

While it is Australian Bass being released today, the Freshwater Fish Stocking Plan also sees Murray Cod, Golden Perch and other species stocked into rivers, lakes and dams across the State.

Fishermen should keep an eye out, because this is the first and certainly won’t be the last stocking event the NSW Government does this season.

Anglers interested in seeing stocking numbers can access an interactive map on the DPI website https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/recreational/resources/stocking.