THE lure of reeling in a big fish tends to drive most people interested in angling.
But that's not the case for VRFish member Joy Sloan who helped co-ordinate the release of 200,000 Murray cod fingerlings into Lake Hume on Thursday.
"I don't fish myself," she said shortly after overseeing the tiny fish tipped into the brimming lake from six boats.
"But I've always been interested in the social science behind fishing and stocking is a great way to bring in tourists to our area.
"Fishing is a really good drawcard for social cohesion and family outings."
The fingerlngs were dispersed into the lake after being transported by truck from a private hatchery near Wagga.
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Aged two to three months, the baby fish were taken out by boats from the Kurrajong ramp at Butko Reserve south of Bellbridge on the Bethanga peninsula.
It is expected to take four to five years for them to reach a catchable size of 55 centimetres, although there is likely to be a mortality impact over that time.
There have been annual releases into Lake Hume by Victorian authorities since the 1990s with the fingerlings supplementing the natural cod population.
Watching on yesterday was member for Benambra and the Victorian Opposition's fishing and boating spokesman Bill Tilley.
"This is a great example of fishers putting back into the sport and recreation they love, it's their licences paying for these fish, their labour and boats putting them into the lake," he said.
The cod deposit follows the Victorian government unveiling its recreational fishing tourism plan earlier this month.
It listed ten top areas of the state to bolster visitor numbers and included the High Country but omitted Lake Hume while naming Bright, Falls Creek, Mitta and Dartmouth.
"It's hard to imagine with the number and size of fish being caught here in recent months that Lake Hume was left out of the top-10 fishing spots in state in the tourism strategy released this month," Mr Tilley said.
"This is a fabulous asset, supported by our fishers and local angling clubs who know from personal experience the importance of maintaining the health and sustainability of our waterways and fish stocks."
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