RECFISH SA has secured a $30,000 grant to stock the Tod Reservoir with fish and hopes to have it open to fishers late this year.
The reservoir is expected to be opened following a planned safety upgrade by SA Water.
RecFish SA executive director David Ciaravolo said after winning the $30,000 recreational fishing grant the organisation was now speaking with the Department of Water and Natural Resources and Primary Industries and Regions SA about access and stocking arrangements.
Mr Ciaravolo said while there were still a lot of elements of the project to organise, RecFish SA was excited by the opportunity.
He said recreational fishing in reservoirs was something the organisation had been pushing for for years and was happy to see the Tod Reservoir would be utilised by local fishers.
“It it important to note that the level of the Tod will be lowered and it would have been ideal for us if it was kept full but I understand that there is still quite deep water, up to 7 metres in some places,” Mr Ciaravolo said.
He said early investigations into the species of fish to stock the Tod Reservoir showed estuary perch would be a good option as the species did well in saline waters.
Mr Ciaravolo said the ideal access model to the reservoir for RecFish SA would be shore-based as well as canoe and kayak access but that was yet to be worked out.
“There has been a lot of interest from recreational fishers in the area and high interest from Port Lincoln High School who have done some testing on what species might be suitable for the reservoir and they provided a report to us,” he said.
“In a place that has so many recreational fishing opportunities I think freshwater fishing is something that strikes a cord with people.
“I have certainly lost count of the number of calls I’ve received about it.”
He said RecFish SA was hopeful they could get approval to stock a desirable fish species for keen recreational fishers.
Mr Ciaravolo said he was aware approvals and working with a number of stakeholders meant it could take time to get the necessary approvals but they hoped to be able to have fishing available later this year.
“The Minister for Water Ian Hunter has indicated he is keen to have it open this year and we would definitely be happy with that,” he said.