LAKE Colac will become home to 50,000 native fish in a historic first next year.
Colac Anglers Club president Glenn Rippon said the lake had enough water for authorities to release 50,000 estuary perch in February or March.
Mr Rippon said next year’s release would be the first time authorities stocked Lake Colac with fish for recreational anglers.
He said the release came two years after the club received a State Government grant to study and stock the lake.
“It’s been going two years, with water testing and sampling and all that – nearly $6000 it cost for water sampling to see what fish could go in there,” Mr Rippon said.
“It was only in August they decided what fish they were going to put in,” he said.
“It’s never been stocked before – it’s just had red fin in it and that was it, no one’s got book work on when stocking was done.”
Carp and eels also swim in the lake.
Mr Rippon said he hoped for more rain but the lake’s current level was adequate.
“If it holds up the way it’s going, we’ll be getting fish in there in February-March,” he said.
“We’re just waiting to put some structure in there to put some new fish in there.
“We want another foot of water if we can get it, the more the better.”
Mr Rippon said the estuary perch were growing in a hatchery in New South Wales.
“They got the fish back in August from Victoria to New South Wales, stripped the eggs and bred them from there,” he said.
“They reckon February or March will be the time for our fish to be big enough to go in Lake Colac.
“It’s been a long chase to get fish in there but we’ll get them in there, hopefully.”
Estuary perch, renowned for their fight and willingness to take both baits and lures, are a popular target for anglers.