The south eastern corner of NSW is one of Australia's premier recreational fisheries, with easily accessed fishing for both novices and experts. A variety of freshwater fish species are targeted in streams and impoundments. The region is strongly supported by angling organisations and Industry & Investment NSW working together to support a sustainable fishery.
Types of fishing
Bait fishing, lure fishing and fly fishing are all popular and successful. Fishing is possible from boats and from the bank in all areas.
Fish to catch
Brown trout, rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, carp, Australian bass, Murray cod, redfin, golden perch, silver perch.
Places to fish
Main fishing towns in this region are Canberra, Jindabyne, Adaminaby, Khancoban and the areas around Kiandra, Tumut, Bombala, Cooma, Nimmitabel and Numeralla. Many streams on the Monaro and in the Snowy Mountains hold trout, but drought conditions often greatly affect fishing. High streams such as in Kosciuszko National Park hold trout but they are often very small.
The south coast has Australian bass in most streams and notably in Brogo Dam.
Native fish can be caught in lower sections of the Murrumbidgee and in Blowering Dam and Googong Dam.
Main impoundments are Lake Burely Griffin, Googong Dam, Captains Flat Dam, Tantangara Reservoir, Blowering Dam, Talbingo Reservoir, Lake Eucumbene, Lake Jindabyne, Brogo Dam, Tumut 2 Pondage, Tumut Pond Reservoir, Three Mile Dam, Tooma Reservoir, Khancoban Pondage, Jounama Pondage, Island Bend Pondage, Geehi Dam, Guthega Pondage.
Fly-fishing, Tantangara Dam. Photo Philip Weigall
1. Winter fishing in the alpine lakes (Eucumbene, Jindabyne, Tantangara) can be very rewarding, but also quite dangerous. Don't go out in bad weather, don't overload the boat, and don't wear waders when in boats. Check weather forecasts on www.bom.gov.au before you go out and get local advice on conditions. For more information see www.safefishing.com.au.
2. Always ask permission to enter private property. Most streams and impoundments are public waters but the land around them is often private property. If in doubt, politely ask permission.
3. Visit Gaden Trout Hatchery. Gaden Trout Hatchery, on the Thredbo River near Jindabyne, is a government owned trout hatchery and its operation is funded by your fishing licence fees. It breeds trout and Atlantic salmon for the stocking of all NSW waterways. Call them on0264513400 to find out the times of guided tours.
4. Fish early and fish late. Trout, one of the most common recreational fishing species in this region, are not keen on hot or bright conditions. In warm weather you will probably do best with a dawn start or fishing into the evening.
5. Boat hire is available for reasonable day and half day prices at several locations on Lake Eucumbene and Jindabyne...ask at Cooma Visitors' Centre or tackle stores for information.
6. Highly specialised gear is great fun but not absolutely necessary...if you have some light estuary fishing gear, such as you might use for bream, flathead and whiting, you will be able to enjoy good fishing, especially in the lakes.
7. Many streams in this area are drought affected. Get local advice before planning trips, especially to lower streams on the Monaro, many of which have suffered over the past two decades from severe drought and poor natural recruitment rates. You will find that streams that rise in the higher Snowy Mountains area are less affected.
8. Lake Jindabyne and Lake Eucumbene have been fishing exceptionally well over the past two years due to the Snowy Lakes Strategy, an initiative by Industry & Investment NSW, anglers and other stakeholders to carefully monitor and plan trout stockings in those impoundments.
Our local expert Steve Williamson says...
When you arrive in the Snowy Mountains you will be amazed at the range of fishing opportunities that exist in the area. The famous Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme provide us with a huge range of dams and impoundments as well as streams and rivers that are all stocked annually with a healthy population of brown and rainbow trout. Some dams like Lake Jindabyne also have some huge Atlantic salmon which are also stocked by Gaden Trout Hatchery on an annual basis.
Management and regular stocking of trout and salmon ensures that when fishing the Snowies, you have the best chance of catching a fish and with expert advice from local tackle shops and professional fishing guides your are almost guaranteed success.
During winter the townships are often very busy with snow skiers and while the rivers and streams are closed to trout fishing while the fish are spawning, on the lakes the fishing never stops it only gets better. Trout love cold water!
Once October arrives, the rivers and streams are once again open to fishing and this is when wet fly fishing is at its best. During summer its time to turn to dry fly fishing and there is nothing more exciting than watching a trout rise to your fly. The warmer months are also the time when the lakes fish best early and late in the day however if you have a boat you can always fish deep into the colder water where you may manage to catch fish all day long.
As autumn arrives and the water again cools, the lakes really fire up as the trout start to feed aggressively in readiness once again for their winter spawning run.
NSW fishing regulations do vary between lakes, rivers and streams so it always pays to check the local fishing regulations before fishing and always make certain you carry a current NSW Fishing licence with you at all times.
It doesn't matter what time you fish the Snowy Mountains there is always a fantastic chance that you will manage to catch a trout and remember 'every day spent fishing is another day added to your life!'
Steve Williamson's Trout Fishing Adventures and Tackle Shop Jindabyne.
Click here for a direct link to Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for this region.
Safe fishing guide
Click here to link to www.safefishing.com.au, from the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW
Industry & Investment NSW (Fisheries)
Freshwater fishing guide
Click here for Industry & Investment NSW's guide to freshwater fishing in NSW
An angling licence is required for all these waters
Click here for recreational angling licence information from Industry & Investment NSW
Fishing regulations apply
Click here for information from Industry & Investment NSW on fishing seasons, closures, gear regulations and species size and catch regulations.
Tackle shops and boating
22 Baker St
Adaminaby NSW 2630
(02) 6454 2260
647 Snowy Mountains Hwy
Pine Valley NSW 2630
(02) 6452 5538
Buckenderra Holiday Village
Buckenderra NSW 2630
(02) 6453 7242
High Country Outfitters
Shop 8 Nuggets Crossing
Jindabyne NSW 2627
Steve Williamson's Tackle Shop and Marine Centre
Shop 1, Snowline Service Centre
Kosciuszko Rd (near Alpine Way intersection)
Jindabyne NSW 2627
Got any info that should be added here? Click here to email us and let us know.
Information on Adaminaby and Lake Eucumbene, including a live webcam of the lake and a live weather station.
Lake levels, snow depth reports and graphs
Accommodation and other visitor information
Bega Visitor Information Centre
Bega, NSW 2550
Telephone: 02 - 6491 7645
Fax: 02 - 6491 7646
Cooma Visitor Information Centre
119 Sharp Street
Cooma, NSW 2630
Toll Free: 1800 636 525
Telephone: 02 - 6450 1742
Fax: 02 - 6450 1798
Eden Gateway Visitor Information Centre
Corner Mitchell Street and Imlay Street
Eden, NSW 2551
Telephone: 02 - 6496 1953
Fax: 02 - 6496 4425
Jindabyne Visitor Information Centre
Jindabyne, NSW 2627
Telephone: 02 - 6450 5600
Fax: 02 - 6456 1249
Merimbula Visitor Information Centre
2 Beach Street
Merimbula, NSW 2548
Toll Free: 1800 150 457
Telephone: 02 - 6495 1129
Fax: 02 - 6495 1250
Shoalhaven Visitor Information Centre
Princes Hwy & Pleasant Way (cnr)
Nowra, NSW 2541
Toll Free: 1300 662 808
Telephone: 02 - 4421 0778
Fax: 02 - 4423 2950
Tumut Region Visitor Information Centre
5 Adelong Road
Tumut, NSW 2720
Telephone: 02 - 6947 7025
Fax: 02 - 6947 3752
Tumbarumba Visitor Information Centre
10 Bridge Street
Tumbarumba, NSW 2653
Telephone: 02 - 6948 3333
Fax: 02 - 6948 3335
ACT Fly Fishers, Contact Stuart Graham, email@example.com www.actflyfishers.org.au
Canberra Anglers' Association, Contact Stefan Fuchs, firstname.lastname@example.org www.canberra-anglers.websyte.com.au
Canberra Fisherman's Club, Contact Shane Jasprizza, email@example.com
Monaro Acclimatisation Society (includes Adaminaby Branch, Bombala Branch, Braidwood Fishing Club, Delegate Branch, Kydra/Kybean Branch, Anembo Anglers Club, Cabramurra Fishing Club, Cooma Trout Acclimatisation Association, Dalgety Branch, Khancoban Angling Club, Nimmitabel Branch, Tumbarumba Branch, Waterfall Farm Fishing Club, Queanbeyan Anglers Club, Tumut Branch, Upper Goodradigbee Branch, Yass Branch, Jindabyne Branch, Talbingo Branch)
Contact Steve Samuels, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Fishing Instructors & Guides Association
Contact Steve Williamson
Vikings Fishing Club
Contact Philip Skinner email@example.com