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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Day 13, Trout II.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Monaro Region wasn’t the only area in NSW calling for the introduction of trout. An article titled ‘Scenes of life in Kangaroo Valley’ published in 1892 recalls a conversation between the reporter and his friend, resonating the same public discussions occurring in the Monaro: “‘Are our fishery commissioners asleep?’ Said a friend to me. ‘These are the perfect trout streams. They ought to be stocked with fish.” (The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 17.09.1892). It would be four years later when a new hatchery was completed in Prospect by the NSW Department of Fisheries, enabling the acclimatisation of trout for NSW, and by the turn of the century the rivers of the Monaro Region were favoured, being described as “the angler’s paradise” and the Snowy River as “a king of streams” (SMH, 27/10/1906). Although the fish didn’t run large, they were plentiful and by 1905 a reported 300 anglers passed through Cooma that season. With reports of accommodation towards Mt. Kosciusko being completely full, resulting in a number of anglers having to be content with camping out. In the annual meeting of the Monaro Tourist Association held in November the following year, concern was emphasised about the lack of accommodation in the region and the committee advertised in the local press: “inviting persons living near trout streams or any other places having attractions for tourists, with suitable accommodation for paying guests, to offer such for the use of tourists” (SMH, 27/10/1906). The friend in discussion with the reporter on the rivers of Kangaroo Valley foreknew the value of angling, having gone on to remark: “It would double the popularity of the valley if tourists could whip these streams for trout.” The reporter agreed, reflecting: “When in New Zealand, recently, I found Englishmen coming out to that colony, during the season, specially for trout-fishing. It is a national asset.”