Thousands of keen recreational fishers will flock to the Goulburn River this Saturday for trout opening and the chance to snag a stonker rainbow trout up to 5kg.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said ten sites along the Goulburn River between Eildon and Molesworth would share in 1500 of the giant fish this week with the Eildon Pondage set to receive 500.

Stonker stocking is all part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $35 million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing, more often in more places.

A study of last year’s stonker stocking and Goulburn Fishing Festival by Kinetica revealed that visiting freshwater fishers generated $1.5 million of economic activity in the Murrindindi Shire, spending on accommodation, bait and tackle, food, fuel and services.

Nearly 90 per cent of people surveyed said they had an ‘exceptional’ and ‘unique’ experience, with a similar number of children who had not fished before indicating they would fish again as a direct result of their visit.

Nearly 70 per cent of people had come from outside the local area and nearly half stayed overnight in the district.

The free Goulburn Fishing Festival is on this Saturday 7 September, based at the Eildon Community Centre.

There will be lots to do for the whole family from 10am until 4pm including entertainment for the kids, learn to fish clinics with experts, flyfishing lessons, cooking demonstrations, and tours of the Fisheries’ hatchery at Snobs Creek nearby.

Fireworks over the Eildon Pondage are scheduled for 7pm.

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Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“The stonker stocking and Goulburn Fishing Festival are major drawcards for fishers to Eildon, boosting the local economy and teaching the next generation of fisher how to wet a line.”

“Target One Million is doing great things for recreational fishing in Victoria. We’re creating jobs, supporting local businesses and giving families more opportunities to get outdoors.”