Joint Statement MAS and Snowy Hydro for Snowy Hydro 2.0

We’ve just received this from Steve Samuels and the MAS.

After discussing with Steve can I dismiss one misconception, it was said to me that the grown out fish would not be permitted to be stocked into Tantangara due to National Par rules on introduced species. 1. Trout are already stocked in KNP eg the Thredbo, besides which 2. Tantangara lake is owned by Snowy Hydro. I should also add that MAS are quite confident that engineering efforts to develop barriers to redfin escaping down the Bidgee or through the Portal will be successful.

You will be aware that the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project poses a threat to Tantangara Dam with the possibility that redfin will be pumped into it from Talbingo Dam. The Monaro Acclimatisation Society (MAS) began negotiations over this with Snowy Hydro the day the project was announced by former PM, Malcolm Turnbull.

The MAS has taken a pragmatic view on this issue. We knew that it would be impossible to stop the project due the high level of commitment from the Federal and State Governments. Instead we started negotiating with Snowy Hydro to see if we could formulate a recreational fishing offset that could be implemented to protect Tantangara if redfin did get in.

Our experience in NSW is that wherever redfin have invaded a trout fishery, the trout (especially the rainbow trout) fail to thrive. The redfin prey on the naturally spawned young as well as the small fingerlings we stock.

We are aware that in Victoria, the preference there is to stock larger trout in redfin affected waters and this has had good success. However, in NSW we are very limited in the number of larger trout we can grow out for stocking. Both our hatcheries are not capable of producing the large number required if we were to make an impact on redfin.

The MAS has presented the idea of building a trout grow-out facility which would consist of grow-out cages to get the trout from 50mm to about 200mm. These bigger trout would be used to stock Tantangara if redfin got in there, but in the meantime they could be used to stock other Snowy waters that have redfin such as Khancoban Dam, or they could be used to bolster our stocking of other Snowy waters.

The attached Joint Statement outlines our agreement with Snowy Hydro to work towards a recreational fishing offset that will compensate anglers for the threat to Tantangara Dam.

At this time the agreement is to investigate the possibilities, but the MAS is committed to providing the best outcome possible to maintain Tantangara as a trout fishery of significance and the MAS will be developing a plan to put forward to Snowy Hydro and other stakeholders such as NSW Fisheries, local communities and the Council.

The MAS will keep anglers advised of our negotiations and updates will be posted on our website.

For further information please contact MAS or Burley Line via the CAA website

Media release – Working with fishing community

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