The Victorian government is tagging 1000 fish with cash bounties to lure tourists to the state. Image by (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

Tourism and Leisure

Vic golden tag fishing comp lures tourists

2020-02-06 14:05:03

Golden-tagged fish with cash bounties of up to $10,000 are being released into Victorian waters to lure tourists back to fire-ravaged regions.

More than $2 million could be up for grabs in the competition, which will run for 12 months.

It will start by Easter in East Gippsland and the state’s northeast.

The first 10 tagged fish caught will earn the lucky angler a $10,000 cheque, with tagged fish caught beyond worth a $2000 cash prize.

Up to 1000 fish will be tagged, including black bream, dusky flathead and King George whiting in East Gippsland, while in the northeast Murray cod, brown trout and rainbow trout will be tagged.

Towns including Mallacoota, Cann River, Bemm River, Orbost, Marlo, Lakes Entrance, Lake Tyers, Omeo, Dartmouth, Mitta Mitta, Corryong, Tallangatta and Bright will be the focus of the campaign.

Victorian Fishing and Boating Minister Jaala Pulford hopes the competition will inspire almost a million anglers to splash cash in regions reeling from the blazes.

“This is about ensuring that these communities that have had a very quiet summer, in terms of economic activity, have a very busy winter,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

The competition has bipartisan support, with East Gippsland and Nationals MP Tim Bull believing it can help compensate for his region having its peak tourist season “decimated”.

He encouraged people in town for corporate events to have a crack at reeling in a winner.

“They also like to wet a line when they’re down here,” he said.

More than 185 organisations have pledged to host events and conferences in Victorian fire-hit regions to support local communities.