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 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.
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.
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.
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).
NSW DPI has a Marine Fish Stocking Program which is aimed at boosting fish stocks for recreational fishers where there are recruitment limitations.
Prawn stockings commenced in 2014 in estuaries to enhance recreational fishing opportunities but this has now being suspended due to the outbreak of white spot disease in Queensland in 2016.In 2018 NSW DPI commenced a small-scale yellowtail kingfish research stocking project to explore the potential for future small scale stockings as a fisheries enhancement tool.
7000 juvenile kingfish were stocked into Botany Bay Recreational Fishing Haven and 3000 juvenile kingfish into Lake Macquarie Recreational Fishing Haven to enhance local fishing opportunities.The kingfish are being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the stockings. Plans are underway to continue the small-scale yellowtail kingfish stocking project during the winter of 2019.
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.