Fish stocking

Fish stocking involves producing fish fry or fingerlings and releasing them into NSW  waters.

Fish stocking can provide many benefits such as creating new fisheries  or augmenting existing ones and is recognised for its importance to the  community in terms of quality recreational fishing, conservation outcomes,  employment and subsequent economic benefits that have grown in response to the  activity over many years.

Fish stocking must be conducted responsibly to conserve and protect our unique biodiversity.

Map of marine and freshwater fish stocking records

Click on individual site markers for historical stocking information.

Freshwater fish stocking

Fish stocking supports some of our most important inland fisheries including the  Australian Bass fishery in Glenbawn dam, Murray Cod and Golden Perch fisheries in impoundments such as Copeton, Pindari, Burrinjuck and Blowering dams and our trout fisheries in the Snowy Mountains, Southern Highlands and Central and New England tablelands.

Find out more about freshwater fish stocking in lakes and impoundments to enhance fish production.

Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Stocking Program

The Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Stocking Program is Recreational Fishing Trust funded program which provides matching funds to stock native fish into rivers and dams across NSW.

Find out more about the Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Stocking Program.

Releasing fish into public waters

All fish releases into public waters such as rivers, creeks and impoundments requires a fish stocking permit.

Find out more about releasing fish into public waters.

Fish hatcheries

Fish hatcheries run by DPI are found across the state, supplying fish for various stocking programs.

Find water monitoring data for Gaden Trout Hatchery and L.P. Dutton Trout Hatchery.

DPI provides a directory of fish hatcheries in NSW supplying fish for stocking

Gaden Trout Hatchery, on the Thredbo River, 10 km north-west of Jindabyne, is one of Australia’s main centres for breeding and rearing cold water sport fish. Four species, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and Atlantic salmon are produced by DPI and stocked into the dams and river systems of our trout fisheries in the snowy mountains, southern highlands, the central tablelands and New England areas. Currently operations are being funded by the Recreational Fishing Trusts. This has enabled the department’s fish stocking program to continue to provide many benefits to the local environment and community.

Visiting the hatchery

Visitors can view and sometimes partake in feeding of the big fish that come to the surface in some of the hatchery’s brood stock ponds, watch a 10 minute introduction video that outlines the hatchery’s purpose and operations, and go for a walk around the grounds with one of the experienced hatchery staff. Coin operated barbeques and picnic shelters are available. Fishing is not permitted at the hatchery.

Open times Contact details

Visitors’ Centre Open 10am - 4pm daily, guided tours run daily at 10am and 2pm only. Bookings are essential.

Self Guided Tours available on selected days only - phone for availability.

Closed ANZAC Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Visitors’ Centre opening times and tours are subject to change due to operational requirements.

Gaden Trout Hatchery
224 Gaden Road
Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Phone: 02 6451 3400
Latitude: -36.376791
Longitude: 148.577042

Entry cost

Admission feesCost per person (AUD)
Child (ages 4 - 14 years)$7.00
Concession (Seniors/Pension card to be shown)$7.00
Family (Based on 2 adults and 2 children)$28.00
Self guiding (group tour rates available for 20 people or more)
Not available every day

Dutton Trout Hatchery is located on the Serpentine River, just 75km east of Armidale and 125km west of Coffs Harbour.

It is one of two NSW Government facilities for breeding and rearing premier cold water sport fish. Dutton produces Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. The fish are bred from hatchery brood stock and grown out to fry, when they are released into selected cold water public rivers and lakes.

Visiting the hatchery

The hatchery is open to visitors daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm (except Good Friday and Chritmas Day).

A small admission fee applies.

Contact details

Point Lookout Road

Ebor NSW 2453

Phone: 6775 9139

The aquaculture facilities at the Port Stephens Fisheries Centre produce Australian Bass as part of the fish stocking program.

Breeding programs have been conducted at the Narrandera Fisheries Centre since the 1960s. Native stock is bred and released to enhance recreational fishing in NSW and for conservation purposes.

Fishery Management Strategy

All freshwater fish stocking is conducted in accord with the NSW Freshwater Fish Stocking Fishery Management Strategy. The strategy ensures that the activity is conducted with appropriate environmental controls and generates quality recreational fishing outcomes for the people of NSW. For more information on freshwater fish stocking email

Saltwater fish stocking

NSW DPI has a Marine Fish Stocking Program which is aimed at boosting fish stocks for recreational fishers in NSW.

Species stocked recently include Yellowtail Kingfish, Dusky Flathead and Eastern King prawns.

In 2019, the first ever stocking of Dusky Flathead was undertaken in NSW with the stocking of 1200 juvenile fish into Lake Macquarie. The fish were approximately 15cm in length and approximately 20 grams at the time of stocking. Plans are underway to do more stockings given the recent breeding success of this highly popular sportfish.

The Kingfish stocking project aims to explore the potential for future small-scale stockings as a fisheries enhancement tool and the released Kingfish are being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the stockings.

Below is a snapshot on what fish have been stocked in recent years:

YearLocationSpeciesNumber Stocked
2018Botany BayKingfish9,000
2018Lake MacquarieKingfish3,000
2019Narrabeen LagoonEastern King Prawns500,000
2019Lake MacquarieDusky Flathead1,200
2020Botany BayKingfish6,500
2020Lake MacquarieKingfish2,600
2020Lake ConjolaDusky Flathead1,850
2021St Georges BasinDusky Flathead47,000
2021Lake ConjolaDusky Flathead14,000
2021Burrill LakeDusky Flathead14,000
2021Georges RiverMulloway80,000
2021Hastings RiverMulloway10,000

Plans are also underway to initiate Mulloway stockings in the future, which involves collecting wild caught broodstock and acclimating the fish to hatchery conditions at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute before being ready to spawn.

All stockings are in line with the NSW Marine Fish Stocking Fishery Management Strategy, which ensures that fishing stocking is conducted responsibly while minimising environmental risk.

The marine fish stocking fishery management strategy (PDF, 4421.57 KB) and associated environmental impact statement for marine stocking was prepared in line with the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

For more information on marine fish stocking email or Call (02) 44247423.