Ballarat Fish Hatchery – Ministerial Response

Scroll down for the Minister’s response, or click here to discover more about how we’re working for Wendouree.

Original adjournment matter from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Fishing and Boating and the action that I seek is for the minister to visit my electorate of Wendouree to meet with the Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society and help to stock our magnificent Lake Wendouree with locally bred trout.

The Ballarat Fish Hatchery, located beside Lake Wendouree, is the oldest fish hatchery on the Australian mainland and was formed on 15 August 1870.

The hatchery committee had a fantastic event planned in 2020 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first ovum arriving on the mainland, which like many events has been postponed due to the COVID pandemic.

The hatchery is entirely run by volunteers, of which there are approximately 30, dedicated locals who stay true to the original, heritage-based methods of trout breeding, with a few modern upgrades.

The hatchery breeds both brown trout and rainbow trout, both of which do very well in Ballarat, and they stock Lake Wendouree with 3000 brown trout every year as a gift to the Ballarat people.

In addition, the Victorian Fisheries Authority stocks the lake with another 3000 trout purchased from the hatchery. In total the VFA purchased 55 000 fish from the hatchery in the last year, so our Ballarat fish are swimming in bodies of water all over the state!

But the majority of sales from the Ballarat Fish Hatchery go to the public. Around 110 000 fish per year are sold to farmers and recreational fishers to stock dams, as well as to hydroponic farmers and other trout farms.

I would be delighted to welcome the minister to Lake Wendouree as I am sure that she would enjoy meeting the volunteers, touring the hatchery facility and learning more about the history of trout in Ballarat.

Response from the Hon Melissa Horne MP, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Ports and Freight, Minister for Fishing and Boating (21st October 2021) –

I thank the Member for Wendouree for her question of 5 October 2021 and invitation to Lake Wendouree.

The Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society has a long history of working closely with the Victorian Government and the Victorian Fisheries Authority. Their dedicated volunteers contribute each year to improving recreational fishing opportunities across Victoria through the stocking of trout produced at the Ballarat Fish Hatchery. Most recently, theVictorian Fisheries Authority stocked the Lauriston and Upper Coliban Reservoirs in October with 6,000 brown trout grown at the Ballarat Fish Hatchery.

I would be delighted to take the Member for Wendouree up on her invitation to visit Lake Wendouree and I congratulate the Ballarat Fish Hatchery on celebrating their 150th anniversary last year, truly an outstanding accomplishment.