A FISH survey in Lake Boga earlier this month has recorded an unexpectedly high number of silver perch that have managed to find their way into the lake. Averaging 39cm and 1.1kg each, silver perch are not stocked into the lake and are likely to have migrated through the Kerang Lakes and irrigation channels. Fisheries Victoria Executive Director, Travis Dowling, said this was great news for freshwater anglers and complemented the State Government’s Target One Million plan for recreational fishing, which aims to get more people fishing, more often. “The survey was to assess the effectiveness of man-made woody structures, funded by fishing licence fees, that were placed into the lake in 2014 to improve fish habitat there,” Mr Dowling said. “However the survey yielded a pleasant surprise capturing nearly 300 silver perch, the best of which weighed nearly 2kg, which is quite uncommon in Victoria. “The species are a terrific sport fish, most often caught on worms. Anglers are encouraged to target them in Lake Boga and abide by the minimum size of 30cm and daily bag limit of 5. “Nonetheless, they are available to recreational anglers to catch now and complement other species in the lake such as golden perch and Murray cod, both of which are stocked annually. “The survey, undertaken by the Arthur Rylah Institute, also captured four Murray cod, averaging 36cm and 800 grams along with four golden perch that averaged 38cm and 1.2kg. “Both of these species, and the abundant silver perch, were all located on and around the woody structures, confirming that native fish love snags even when they are man-made. “Other species captured in the survey, found away from the woody structures, included redfin, carp and bony bream.” Mr Dowling said enhancing native fish habitat was a great way to improve fishing opportunities and the project was a credit to the collaborative approach taken by Goulburn Murray Water, the North Central Catchment Management Authority, local councils and Fisheries Victoria. “Monitoring of the Lake Boga fishery, including its woody habitat structures which have also been installed at Kangaroo Lake, will continue through the collection of angler catch data. People keen to participate should contact Karl.Mathers@thewedgegroup.com.au.” Silver perch may be taken from lakes and impoundments north of the Great Dividing Range and all waters south of the Range, including the Wimmera Basin.