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The Trout Experiment

On 4 May 1864, the first brown trout eggs ever successfully shipped to Australia hatched in the cool waters of Plenty River, Tasmania – causing a ripple effect for both fishing and conservation that endures to this day.

In April 1864, THE Norfolk sailed from England and docked at the Railway Pier in Melbourne, carrying an unsuspected cargo: 2700 live brown trout ova packed inside 30 tonnes of ice. Aboard was Sir James Arndell Youl – a pastoralist whose vision to bring trout to Australia would shape the country’s fishing industry for generations to come.

Rainbow trout was the second of the trout species to arrive in Australia, originating from the rivers and lakes of North America and brought to New South Wales from New Zealand in 1894.

“The ‘trout experiment’ as an introduced species must be considered in the social and political context of [the 1860s], where there was almost zero consideration for the environment,” Terry says. The Australian Trout Foundation, in collaboration with several other conservation departments, is working to restore sustainability of the streams to avoid the errors of the past.

Not only Trout were placed in Lake Leschenaultia. In 1907 the lake was stocked with Redfin Perch and only twelve months later the lake had become very popular with local and visiting anglers.

For many years the lake was used as a breeding ground from which the young perch were taken to stock permanent streams throughout the state.Again in 1973 the Mundaring shire introduced 5000 trout hatchlings into the Lake and restocked it on a regular basis. This activity finished in 1998 when it was decided that fishing was not compatible with the recreational themes then being developed at the Lake.

Fun at the Lake!

Autumn at Lake Leschenaultia


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