News

Fishing to be allowed on Crown land river frontage with grazing licences

By Jamie Salter

Recreational fishers are backing a Victorian Government commitment to guarantee access to fishing and camping on Crown land with grazing licences and river frontage.

The improved access will come with the passing of the Parks and Crown Land Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 by the Legislative Council.

As part of the project, the Victorian Fisheries Authority will be installing access gates and signage at the entry points to Crown land.

Shepparton fishing business owner Steve Threlfall said it was great to see the Victorian Fisheries Authority pushing for access to these areas.

“It gives fishers a wider range of access points,” Mr Threlfall said.

“In some cases where access has been denied, fishers would have to travel further for general access or to fish off the bank.

“One of the biggest things is for fishermen to thank the VFA, and to remind fishers that they have the responsibility to take care of these places — to remove any rubbish and treat these areas the way they need to be treated.”

VRFish chairperson Rob Loats said Victorian recreational fishers were excited at the prospect of fishing and camping along more rivers and streams.

“Regaining community access to our rivers and streams will be a game changer for inland fishing across Victoria, from targeting our much-loved brown and rainbow trout to our iconic Murray cod,” Mr Loats said.

“Some landholders have incorrectly assumed these tracts of land is theirs and prevented public access by erecting fences, installing `no access’ signs and padlocks.

“Fishers have been missing out on the enjoyment of fishing along hundreds of kilometres of our rivers because of a systemic misunderstanding of public access requirements.”

The commitment is part of the Victorian Government’s Target One Million program to increase participation in recreational fishing in Victoria.

“Recreational fishers want diverse experiences that immerse them in nature to relax and unwind,” Mr Loats said.

“We can't think of a better setting for Victorian families than alongside our amazing rivers and streams with a future opportunity of camping and cooking a fresh meal on a campfire.”

The Parks and Crown Land Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 seeks to amend the Land Act 1958 to allow camping and campfires on licensed Crown water frontages.

● Fishers can raise any concerns with VRFish about access to rivers at: [email protected]