CD5-rainbow-redfin-patternThe opening of the 2017 trout fishing season will be celebrated with free family friendly events at Eildon and Ballarat on Saturday, 2 September.

The festivities are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Target One Million plan, which aims to get more people fishing, more often and increase participation to one million anglers by 2020.

The Goulburn Fishing Festival promotes fishing in the region including Lake Eildon, the Eildon Pondage, the Goulburn River and all of its tributaries.

It features fun and free activities for the whole family from 10:00am, including live music from local talent, a car boot sale and fireworks over the Eildon Pondage at 7:00pm.

Fishing icon Rex Hunt will be on hand to share entertaining tales and offering hands-on tips for beginners and experts alike.

Activities will include fishing clinics from experts focusing on freshwater species such as trout, redfin and native fish, flyfishing lessons and the opportunity to help release live trout from the Snobs Creek hatchery nearby.

There will also be displays showcasing fishing tackle and local produce, cooking demonstrations, free children’s entertainment including face painting, a jumping castle, and live music at the pondage rotunda in the afternoon.

There will be guided tours of the Snobs Creek hatchery, which turned 70 this year. The hatchery grows fish for the statewide stocking program including brown trout, rainbow trout and Murray cod, funded largely by recreational fishing licence fees.

At Ballarat, the festival will be based on the shores of Lake Wendouree opposite Loreto College from 10:00am, with free tours of the nearby Ballarat Fish Acclimatisation Society’s trout hatchery.

Victorian rivers and streams officially open to trout fishing at midnight on Friday 1 September, 2017. All lakes, including Wendouree, are open to trout fishing year-round.

For more information, including schedules for both events, visit