Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre
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Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre

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The old wall at Lake Eildon -  a bit of history in the making

Lake Eildon - The Morning After

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 any year.

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.

~Antony Boliancu



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