The Victorian Government is encouraging recreational fishers back to bushfire-affected areas by giving them the chance of landing a tagged fish worth up to $10 000.
Recreational fishing in Gippsland and the north-east is worth more than $600 million annually, supports more than 3800 jobs and is a major contributor to regional communities that depend on tourism.
“The Golden Tag competition is a way to encourage fishers to visit waterways — some for their first time and others because they’ve loved the place for decades and have fond childhood memories,” Victorian Fishing Minister Jaala Pulford said.
The Victorian Fisheries Authority will manage the competition, which will run for 12 months, and has already begun tagging up to 1000 fish in the rivers and lakes of East Gippsland and north-east Victoria.
The first 10 tagged fish to be caught by fishers after the competition begins will earn the lucky fisher a $10 000 cheque, with tagged fish caught beyond the first 10 to be awarded a $2000 cash prize.
Tagged species will be black bream, dusky flathead and King George whiting in East Gippsland; and in the north east, tagged species will include Murray cod, brown trout and rainbow trout.
The competition is hoping to bring people back to towns like Mallacoota, Cann River, Bemm River, Orbost, Marlo, Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers, Omeo, Dartmouth, Mitta Mitta, Corryong, Tallangatta and Bright.
The competition will begin in the coming months, dependent on conditions in bushfire-affected areas, with a start date to be set in consultation with Visit Victoria.
For more information, visit: vfa.vic.gov.au/goldentag