Lake Eildon - The
Lake Eildon is currently
sitting at 11.2% after recently hitting a historic low
of 8.4%. The end of the need for irrigation and some
autumn rains has seen the lake rise slightly as finally
the ground is now soaked and we do have the start of
decent run off.
The good news is the recent
announcement that the El Nino cycle is over. Predictions
are for a return to normal annual rainfalls are welcomed
by everyone in our part of the world. A normal winter/spring
rain would see the lake around 50%. An above average
year could have us at 75% come summertime.
Perhaps the best thing
to come out of the past season is that we have been
able to get through with the bare minimum amount of
water. While things are always going to be tough as
water managers try to sell every last possible drop,
we really started with a lake that was lower than ever
before. There was the possibillity that we would actually
run out of water and the temperatures would sky rocket
causing large fatalities amongst the trout population.
But due to some prudent management of water released
we got through the toughest period in February/March
with the least possible impact.
That was the major concern.
As we have had lower than usual lake levels for several
years we have had water temperatures that are much warmer
than average throughout the year. This has promted huge
spring growth rates in the fish as the once icy waters
suddenly produced an abundance of aquatic insects. We
have caught over a hundred fish of 2lb or better over
the past three seasons, with many at 2.5-4lb and several
in the 5-7. This is remarkable. To lose this head of
fish would have been a tragedy of epic proportions and
to know that these strong, healthy fish will spawn this
winter is a comforting thought.
But if there is one real
positive to come out of this drought it is this. Water
is now on the agenda. The whole country is talking about
it. Melbourne is talking about it! It is an issue that
now gets people listening as opposed to previous years
where "as long as we don't have restrictions in
the metropolitan areas who cares" was the popular
opinion. Things are slowly changing.
And what if El Nino doesn't
end here and we get yet another year of drought? Well
we know now that we can cope with 30% in the lake as
we proved this year and it would be hard to imagine
that we would get any less than we did this past year
and so we feel confident that we can get through almost
So while we will wish for
a great wet year and that the powers that be will use
the water more wisely, we should also have a think about
the incredible increase in fish size in the past few
seasons as warmer than usual water is released from
the low lake. While it has made summer fly fishing a
tough proposition the spring time fishing has been as
good as it gets and without wanting too much we would
love to have the best of both worlds.