Fish stocking involves producing fish fry or fingerlings and releasing them into dams or river systems.
Fish stocking can provide many benefits such as creating new fisheries or augmenting existing ones. Fish stocking is recognised for its importance to the community in terms of providing quality recreational fishing, conservation outcomes and employment and the subsequent economic benefits that have grown in response to the activity over many years.
The Dollar for Dollar Native Fish Stocking Program was introduced in 1998 to enable community groups to apply to the NSW Recreational Fishing (Freshwater) Trust (funded by the recreational fishing fee) for matching funds to purchase native fish from licensed commercial hatcheries in NSW, for the stocking of rivers and dams across the State.
Stocking groups may apply to stock fish on a dollar for dollar basis by completing the attached application form and submitting it to NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) prior to the closing date.
Individuals, State agencies, community groups, local councils and non-government organisations may apply to the program.
For the 2020–2021 stocking season (September 2020–May 2021) matching funding has been set aside for the stocking of Australian Bass, Murray Cod and Golden Perch fry or fingerlings.
Stocking is permitted in dams and rivers within NSW subject to an assessment of suitability. Groups are asked to provide a detailed description of the preferred release site(s) and to provide decimal degree latitude and longitude coordinates of the location(s) proposed for stocking, so that applications may be properly assessed.
Proposed stocking site(s) must be within the natural distribution of the species nominated and must have good public access. The nominated site(s) should provide fish with suitable forage food, have good water quality and provide protection from predators.
Proposals to stock should be in areas where natural breeding for that species is insufficient to maintain a recreational fishery. The stocking level must also be appropriate for the nominated waterway.
Applications to stock fish are assessed against the Fish Stocking Fishery Management Strategy (FMS), including interactions between stocked species and threatened species. Stocking may be restricted in some areas. If a proposal does not meet FMS guidelines, applicants will be asked to consider alternative stocking sites.
The FMS ensures the continued involvement of anglers in a responsible fish stocking program to maintain and enhance our valuable freshwater recreational fisheries.
For each application, offers between $1,000 and $6,000 will be considered to optimise the success of the program. (Please do not send any money with your application.)
Once stocking applications have been assessed and approval to stock is granted, successful applicants will then be invited to place an order for fish with an accredited commercial supplier in NSW.
The fish stocking order is an amount equivalent to the offer made in the application, plus a matching amount to be provided from the Trust to the fish supplier after the stocking event. For example, if a stocking group offers $1,000 in matching funding, it will obtain $2,000 worth of fish from the supplier for stocking into waters as approved.
In order to maintain equity, prevent overstocking and remain within the program budget, matching funding may be reduced if proposals are received after the closing date or if several clubs request to stock the same area.
Groups that are successful with their stocking proposals are responsible for payments to suppliers for amounts offered in their applications inclusive of delivery costs and GST.
Please note that NSW DPI may limit a matching contribution if fish prices from hatcheries significantly exceed the market rate for fish for the season.
Please be aware that no funds can be carried over into the 2020–21 financial year from the current financial year. All fish stocking must be carried out prior to 31 May 2021 in order to receive the dollar for dollar funding grant.
Once a fish stocking order has been placed with a fish supplier, NSW DPI will issue a specific fish stocking permit to enable the stocking to proceed. Conditions on this permit must be adhered to at all times. Note: A stocking must not proceed unless a fish stocking permit has been issued for the event. Penalties apply for stocking without a fish stocking permit.
The stocking group and the hatchery are responsible for arranging the supply of the fish.