Water recreation

Travelling down a river, or fishing beside a quiet alpine lake are some of the most enjoyable activities visitors can do in the Australian Alps. This information can help ensure you have a enjoyable and safe time – while still protecting the natural environment and not encroaching on the experience of other visitors.

Recreational angling

  • Be aware of fishing regulations – Anglers must acquaint themselves with all fisheries regulations, size and bag limits. Adherence to the regulations will benefit fishing for the future.
  • Respect other anglers and waterways users – Avoid crowding fellow anglers. Either on the shore or on the water and always be aware of your surroundings and the impact you may have when fishing.
  • Protect the environment – The health of the fish you are trying to catch depends upon the health of our environment. Dispose of rubbish, unwanted fishing gear and bait scraps in appropriate refuse receptacles or take it home when you leave. Only leave footprints wherever you go. Be aware of other plants and animals you may encounter when fishing.
  • Carefully return undersized, protected or unwanted catch back to the water – Catching undersized or unwanted species is inevitable. But should be returned to the water immediately. Learn and practice the best methods of releasing live fish.
  • Fish species and other organisms must not be relocated into other water bodies – Many problems, such as the establishment of feral populations like European carp and the saltwater invasive weed Caulerpa taxifolia can result from such activities.
    Unnatural interactions may result in depletion of fish populations.
  • Attend your fishing gear, treat fish humanely and value your catch – Treat fish humanely and avoid waste by attending your gear to ensure that fish are retrieved as soon as possible and despatching fish humanely immediately after capture.

Safety on the river

  • Craft must be carried to the water – Keep vehicles to formed roads and tracks.
  • Stagger launchings – If other groups are there, to avoid congestion and social impacts.
  • Ensure prior knowledge of the river – The leader of the trip should have experience of the river and have leadership skills. Through maps, river guides and talking to people who have traveled the river, be sure your party is aware of difficult sections, portages and campsites.
  • Plan your escape routes – Carry maps and be familiar with potential escape routes should a mishap occur which necessitates walking out. Have appropriate walking gear (shoes, day pack, map, compass, torch) in case this should be needed.
  • Let someone know before you go down the river – Tell them about your party, your planned day of return, and the equipment you are carrying. Remember to contact them when you return.
  • Only take appropriately skilled party members – Be sure your party members are capable of:
    1. paddling to the level of the rapids expected to be encountered
    2. swimming confidently
    3. rescuing themselves and other party members from a capsize.
  • When you camp – Try to avoid camping with other groups and choose a site with a robust bank or beach on which landing and launching of craft will have least impact.
  • Ensure all craft are designed for the intended use – Make sure they are adequately equipped with fixed buoyancy, handholds, spray covers (if necessary) and are in good order.
  • Carry appropriate group equipment – including repair kit, comprehensive first aid kit, spare food and waterproof matches.
  • Carry appropriate individual equipment – including throw rope, buoyancy/life vest, helmet, personal first aid kit, adequate protection against cold, wet, hot and sunny weather.
  • Attempt rapids or difficult sections one craft at a time – With the weakest paddlers in the middle of the group.
  • Ensure river heights are suitable before departure.
  • Keep the party in sight of one another at all times.
  • Keep well away from trees, snags and other obstacles.
  • Be familiar and comply with canoeing safety codes produced by state canoeing associations.