Australian Trout Foundation ATF Online
WA State Branch

Welcome to all WA members.

This is the page where you will find information and links relevant to your State Branch. If you have any questions regarding this page or have some material to contribute to it, please contact Russell Hanley via email to

First Branch MeetingNanga Brook Fish Ladder in need of repairs
In the last week of April 2018, the fledgling branch of the ATF in the West held a
meeting to develop a strategy for the future growth and activities of the ATF in the State.
There was no shortage of issues and projects identifed that the WA branch could pursue, including maintaining suffcient water in our rivers and streams, habitat restoration, access for recreational fshing, and signage to name but a few.
All present however, recognised the frst priority has to be a membership drive to ensure we have the resources to take on even some of the many potential projects identifed.
While the current number of members allows us to form a state branch incorporated under the Associations Act, there are simply not yet enough people to take on all the committee roles required by the Act.
Therefore those attended resolved to actively recruit new members with the aim of achieving the numbers required to set up a functioning branch by the end of 2018.
Several intiatives were discussed including the preparation of a brochure advertising the work of the ATF and the aims of the WA branch. In addition, the ATF will be represented at the RecFish West/Fisheries trout stocking day in September. A regular contribution showcasing the achievements and aims of the ATF will also be provided to Freshwater, the magazine of the WATFAA club.

Anyone interested in learning more about the activities of the WA Branch can contact Russell Hanley at this email address:

FFRG Meeting
The Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group (FFRG) is convened by RecFish West and provides advice and recommendations to the Department of Fisheries on locations and numbers for the stocking of trout each year. Occasionally the FFRG also makes recommendations about policy and management of the Fishery and one recent change has seen the abolition of a closed season for trout in WA. This change has been been incremental with most of the larger rivers and their tributaries already open all year. The rationale behind the decision to abolish the closed season is that the great majority of fsh stocked each year are rainbow trout and there is little evidence of natural recruitment. Therefore there appears to be no good reason for closure of waters in WA over the spawning season.
The FFRG met in May to discuss and recommend stocking locations and numbers for 2018.
There has been a signifcant turnover in membership of the FFRG since 2017 and there were a lot of new faces at the frst meeting of 2018.
The ATF is represented on the FFRG by Russell Hanley and Stewart King (Stewart is also President of WATFAA).
The stocking of yearlings and broodstock fsh is now underway and fortunately the recent rains has meant there is now a little bit of ?ow in our rivers and streams again and so the fsh should encounter favourable environmental conditions.

Did You Know?  (by Russell Hanley)
Trout are currently found in rivers and impoundments in 5 states in Australia.
Stocking programs are undertaken by the various Fisheries Departments in each state but in 3 states, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales there are some sustainable populations of wild trout, mostly browns but there appears to be some self sustaining populations of rainbows as well.
In SA and WA however, it appears that continued stocking is essential for the maintenance of the recreational fshery in most if not all rivers and impoundments. That said there is a population of trout in the Serpentine Reservoir in WA that has been self sustaining for many years.Unfortunately angling in public water supply dams in WA is strictly prohibited. In a recent review of minimum size limits that apply in each of the 5 states
I found there is a considerable range between states. I have summarised this in the table below and also added NZ for comparative purposes. The rationale behind these differences is presumably based on stock assessments within each of the states, but it is curious that WA, where there is apparently little recruitment from wild stocks, has the largest minimum size for trout. I suspect this is an anachronism because in the early days of the attempts to establish a viable recreational fishery, it was likely the hope was that fish reaching 300mm might have had one or more opportunities to spawn.

Comparison - legal size trout in various states