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Local native fish hatchery receives funding boost

By Ashlea Witoslawski

An extra $3million towards a native fish hatchery could become a reality if Labor wins on Saturday.

Federal Labor’s promise adds to a $7million Victorian Government commitment that is part of its Target One Million — Phase Two plan towards the construction of a hatchery near Shepparton, the aim of which would be to stock hundreds of waterways across Victoria.

Delivering a boost to Victorian recreational fishers, Victorian Fishing and Boating Minister Jaala Pulford announced the commitment at an Altona boat ramp yesterday.

A Labor statement said the funding would be used to ensure world-class hatchery technology was used to breed critically threatened species such as freshwater catfish, Macquarie perch and trout cod.

It was suggested the hatchery would be the largest supplier of Murray cod in the country, breeding record numbers of Murray cod, plus golden and silver perch.

Labor candidate for Nicholls Bill Lodwick welcomed the funding announcement as a great opportunity for the region.

‘‘This new hatchery will create new jobs in the area and guarantee supply of fish for the river systems and those who enjoy recreational fishing,’’ he said.