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Farm Dam Stocking

It is illegal to stock trout into any inland water in Tasmania without a permit. A stocking application form must be submitted to the IFS and subsequently approved regardless of whether the fish are bought from the Service or another supplier. There are two application forms, one for the stocking of brown trout and the other is for rainbow trout.

It is illegal to stock trout into any inland water in Tasmania without a permit. A stocking application form must be submitted to the IFS and subsequently approved regardless of whether the fish are bought from the Service or another supplier. There are two application forms, one for the stocking of brown trout and the other is for rainbow trout.

The choice of brown or rainbow trout stock depends on whether the dam is intended for public or private fishing. To be classified as a public fishery, the landholder must agree to allow all reasonable access to the dam by members of the public. In response to a stocking application for a water classified as a public fishery, the Service may provide the stock of brown trout free of charge. If the dam is to be kept for private use, however, then the water may only be stocked with rainbow trout. These can be purchased from the Service or from commercial hatcheries such as Springfield Hatcheries and Petuna Aquaculture. It is advisable to ring the Service or other fish dealers to find out availability of stock and estimated costs prior to making a written application to the Service. Anglers fishing both public and private waters must be licensed.

Dam Suitability

The most critical factor to be assessed in a farm dam stocking application is a guaranteed water supply throughout dry periods. While some running water is an advantage, trout will do quite well in a dam that receives only rainfall run-off. Besides water quantity and quality, fish habitat and food source are vital.

Most established dams can usually provide an adequate supply of natural food. Certain vegetation around the dam can help to increase food availability, and encourage shade and habitat through fallen debris.

Where there is a supply of running water, it is advisable to place screens at the outlet to prevent fish from escaping. Spillways should not be screened if this compromises the safety of the dam during floods. Drawing water for irrigation is not a problem, provided that some form of screen is placed around the suction area to prevent fish from entering and blocking the lines, being sucked through, escaping with gravity irrigation, or being destroyed when pumps are used. Sufficient room should be left between the outlet and the screen to ensure that accumulated debris does not affect suction.

Stock can still use the dam, but it is essential that their access be restricted to certain points to prevent hoof damage destroying the food source at the water’s edge. Damage by stock can also result in excessive muddying of the water, reduced food production and can possibly cause distress to fish.