The love of Bass fishing kept us all going, and we were all relieved when finally, our application for being on the Stocked Impoundment Scheme was accepted. Yeeharrrr!!!! No more begging.
The SIPS funding we now receive is based on the total surface area of the waterways that you stock.
For example, Somerset/Wivenhoe stocking association get a lot more funding than us as they have a huge surface area, and on the other side of the coin Lake Dyer has a smaller surface area and their stocking group gets less funding than us. For every dollar we receive around 4 Bass fingerlings are purchased. We get these from specialist hatcheries with Hanwoods at Murgon being our group's major supplier. Fingerlings are ordered around June/July and are grown ready for release around Dec/Jan.
The hatcheries deliver the fingerlings which are about 25-30mm long in tanks with oxygen rich water keeping them healthy for the trip to the dams. The fish are then decanted into containers or bags and stocking group members and friends paddle out to different areas of the dam and release them amongst the weed giving them their best chance of surviving. Several years later the survivors will have grown to legal size. Being a slow growing fish, these Bass are the tough one’s with survival of the fittest sorting them out.
There are different growth rates for different waterways dependant on the amount of food that is available for them. When you catch (and hopefully release but you can keep and eat if you like) the magical 50cm model you are holding in your hands a 15-25 year old fish maybe even older. There are even records of a 47 year old wild Bass captured in the Genoa river so they can live a long life.
So, that’s how we get Bass and other native fish into our stocked impoundments and other waterways. Check out your local stocking group and buy a raffle ticket or a snag at one there fundraising BBQ’s or even join your local group and get involved. Even a hello and a thumbs up keeps us all feeling worthwhile and proud. All funds raised and funds received from SIPS go to purchasing the fish, creating fish habitat and creating safe areas to launch our watercraft.