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Tasmania is a part of the Commonwealth of Australia and is located 240 kilometres to the South of the Australian mainland. The Tasmanian main island, which is the 26th largest island in the world with its 68.000+ km2 of land area - is a massive wilderness that is quite sparsely populated. (More than half of the island’s population of 500.000 citizens reside in the state capital Hobart). Tasmania is named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who made the first European reporting of the island in november 1642. Much of the island is formed by volcanic upwellings and it is rich in mountains, cliffs and massive rocks. The island is also rich in lakes, rivers, and creeks - and most of these are inhabited by trout. Trout were successfully introduced in Tasmania 150 years ago due to the dogged determination of a group of men, who were mind-bent on bringing trout and salmon eggs the 8000km from England to the island. The first attempt was done back in February 1852 with the shipping of 50.000 ova on the 454 ton barque ‘Columbus’.

Despite intricate tray, cooler and water flow systems, the experiment failed - and so did consequent ones. Lots of experience was gained in the process, however, and in April 1864, after a 91 days long journey via Melbourne, the first shipment of trout and salmon ova arrived in New Norfolk, Tasmania. They were transported 6km to the Derwent Valley using bamboo poles resting on shoulders, and here, the 20 sealed boxes, which simply consisted of wet moss and ova, were opened with fear and trembling. In them, 300 surviving trout ova were extracted in addition to a good number of live salmon ova. In May 1864, plenty of salmon and 300 healthy brown trout hatched. And while the ensuing salmon stocking was never succesful, the trout thrived, grew and multiplied. Furthermore, the Derwent Valley ‘Salmon Ponds’ hatchery became instrumental in introducing trout in New Zealand. They were brought over in 1872 and quickly prospered.

Profile for In the Loop Fly Fishing Magazine

In the Loop Fly Fishing Magazine - Issue 21