THE stocking of trout cod at Lake Kerferd near Beechworth is proving a success story.
A survey last month confirmed trout cod are surviving and growing alongside redfin and previously stocked golden perch.
Thirty trout cod were caught with the biggest being 39 centimetres and 800 grams.
It probably originated from the lake’s first stocking in 2008.
At least three size classes of trout cod were captured, suggesting fingerlings over several years have contributed to the population.
More than 9400 trout cod fingerlings have been released to assist in the recovery of the species and to develop a small recreational fishery.
It is classed an endangered fish which cannot be taken by anglers anywhere in Victoria.
But the survey results are encouraging and fisheries managers may consider opening the fishery in coming years for trout cod.
The survey also captured two golden perch of 41 and 46 centimetres, weighing more than 1.5kg each, and nearly 50 small redfin to 15 centimetres.
Fisheries Victoria is working with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to boost trout cod populations in the Ovens River and Lake Sambell at Beechworth.
The recovery of the species in the Ovens River over the past decade has been highly successful.
A total of 468,009 trout cod were produced and stocked from the department of Primary Industry’s hatchery at Snobs Creek between 1987 and last year.
The stocking of Lakes Sambell and Kerferd is intended to build a fishery capable of sustaining limited recreational catching but this is expected to take several years.
Fisheries Victoria is discussing with DSE and recreational fishers options that could enable a limited take of trout cod in the two lakes.