The Latest from the IFS 29/10/2011

Woods Lake road maintenance continues
Newly graded and levelled section of Woods Lake road
Maintenance work commenced on Woods Lake Road last week as part of an ongoing commitment by the Inland Fisheries Service. The road was upgraded before the opening of the angling season last year and was in need of further maintenance this season. The worst section between Arthurs Lake and Paradise Plains has now been graded and levelled, and more work will be undertaken on additional sections of the road in November in conjunction with improvements to the Woods Lake boat ramp.

The access road to Woods Lake is an important investment in the State’s fish­ery. Prior to 2005-06 when the high clearance 4WD track from Arthurs Lake to Woods Lake was significantly upgraded, Woods Lake was under-used by an­glers. It had never appeared in the top 15 most popular waters until 2006-07 when it debuted in position four with 2,853 anglers. It’s now well established as the third most popular premium wild trout lake fishery in the State with close to 6,000 anglers fishing there annually.

River Access Brochure on Rights and Responsibilities
Angler access to river fisheries - know your rights and responsibilities
In response to the many general inquiries regarding angler access to rivers, the Inland Fisheries Service has developed a River Access brochure containing in­formation on angler rights and responsibilities. It lists the simple access rules and signage, safety and code of conduct, as well as the general principles that apply in Tasmania.

All anglers have an important role in maintaining good relations between land­owners and the angling community. Some general principles apply and will benefit all. Firstly, anglers should understand that access is a privilege not a right, and secondly, when in doubt, ask permission.

In Tasmania, most private land titles extend to the bank of the river and some titles extend to the middle of the river. This can mean that you may be trespass­ing, which is a criminal offence, even if you are wading in the river.

Rivers also flow through public land such as Crown Reserves, State Forests, National Parks, Hydro property and Conservation Areas. Whilst public access is usually permitted, different entry conditions may apply depending on the management authority.

The Inland Fisheries Service has been working to develop access to angling waters with a focus on improving foot access to major river fisheries. Much of this has involved negotiating with landowners and establishing formal agree­ments regarding access for anglers. Access points are now clearly marked with signs at the access locations on seven major river fisheries around the State.

Macquarie River angler access improvements
Green Corps Australia trainee Matt installs a new stile on the Macquarie River

The Inland Fisheries Service recently completed additional work to improve angler access on the Macquarie River. New infrastructure such as stiles, foot­bridges and duck boarding, has been installed upstream of Woolmers Bridge. These enhancements, including additional access points, are shown in the sec­ond edition of the Macquarie River angler access brochure, which is available to download here.

The Macquarie River has an excellent reputation as a fly fishing meadow-stream. In recent years, angler access to stretches of prime angling water has been greatly improved through the work of the IFS. This angler access work includes negotiating access with private landholders, identifying formal access points and building infrastructure such as fence stiles, signage, gates and foot­bridges.

These latest improvements for angler access come amidst reports of good spin­ner hatches and improved fishing on the Macquarie River this season.

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