Lake Wendouree is a wonderful fishing destination within the vibrant township of Ballarat. The lake is well known for exceptional trout and redfin fishing as well as its Olympic rowing facilities. You can see our guide here on Fishing Lake Wendouree. However, Lake Wendouree and the city of Ballarat has come under pressure this week from animal rights groups. Who is seeking to have recreational fishing banned from the lake due to increased numbers of animals needing assistance. This includes birdlife with lures caught on them or fishing line wrapped around them. There have also been reports of locals walking their dogs around the lake who have also been injured through lures and fishing lines.

Anglers

Animal rescuers are calling on the City of Ballarat to ban fishing at Lake Wendouree, claiming the recreational activity is putting wildlife in danger. #9News | http://9News.com.au

Posted by 9 News Western Victoria on Monday, 12 August 2019

Lake Wendouree fishing ban response by council

The Ballarat city council went on record to say that the lake plays a vital role for the community. Fishing is and has been a pivotal activity that draws anglers in by their thousands every year. They will work closely with local groups and communities to look at ways to redcue the impact of anglers without drsatic measures. Some ideas being suggested includes scattering line bins around the lake and fining those caught doing the wrong thing.

The impact of banning fishing Lake Wendouree VR Fish

Local Fishing body VR Fis had the following to say. “Ridiculous claims to ban fishing at Lake Wendouree in Ballarat. Clearly they want kids to stay glued to their iPads and hang around shopping centres. Rather than engaging in a healthy family-friendly activity that connects them with the outdoors and contributes economic benefits to many local businesses. It misrepresents recreational fishers as people that don’t care about their waterways which is so far from the truth. Fishing is a cherished tradition at the Lake since the late 1800’s. Thousands of fishers have done the right thing and clean up after themselves and continue to do so. Punishing all for the actions of a few is not the way to solve these issues. As your fishing peak body, VRFish has put a call into the City of Ballarat and the good news we will be working together to have fishing line disposal bins installed around the lake and further initiatives to promote responsible fishing including signage”.

What we think about the calls to ban fishing at Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree is a beautiful lake that attracts anglers all over Victoria every year. We agree that every action should be taken to minimise the dangers to any animal or local by fishing products and material. We would highly encourage facilities to assist anglers to properly dispose of line and lures and would also agree that people caught doing the wrong thing should be reported and potentially fined. However, banning is not the answer. Banning is an over the top knee jerk reactional with zero rational thought. Banning fishing has many impacts to the community of Ballarat. Such as the economic stimulation it provides by bringing in thousands of anglers far and wide to fish. these are people likely to stay in the township, eat, buy products and so on. There has also been tremendous work done by the local community to encourage family fishing. This would include trout stocking programs, fishing events and programs to see children fishing.

What we need is key people representing each side to come together and make some rational decisions that can provide a positive outcome for all parties. Continue to encourage and grow fishing programs while exploring numerous ways to reduce any environmental impact.

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