The region was a popular fishing destination from the time of first exploration by white settlers, and of course indigenous people sustainably fished the area for tens of thousands of year before European occupation.
Most of Australian famous inland fish species were first describes in the area. Most specimens were collected between Lithgow and Orange soon after settlement. Fish such as Murray Cod, Trout Cod, River Blackfish, Silver Perch and Golden Perch all thrived here.
However in the past 200 years heavy fishing, siltation of water ways, mining, introduced pests and the building of dams impacted these species and they have been in steady decline until recent years.
In some waterways native species are starting to gain a foot hold again following remediation work and restocking, however in some other water introduced species dominate.
Large Dams were built from 1900 through to the 1990’s. The dams have been stocked with fish and normally offer good fishing year round, however the streams the dams block have reduced flows and often have poorer fishing as a result.
Trout were introduced to the region in the early 1900. However the main stocking activity commenced with the construction of the Bindo hatchery at Oberon and the Jenolan River Hatchery. The oberon hatchery was an initiative of the NSW Rod Fishers Society which had helped form the Central Acclimatisation Society. In 1939 CAS funded the purchase of 25,000 rainbow fry from Montana, which were hatched at Bindo and distributed throughout the region.
The local hatcheries no longer exist however trout are still stocked into local waterways from hatcheries in the Snowy Mountains (Gaden Hatchery) and New England (Dutton Hatchery) regions. Trout also bread successfully in local rivers.
Redfin & Carp
Over the last 50 years carp and redfin perch have developed into major pests across the region. They are found in many of the major water storages and rivers particularly west of the divide.