The Lake Burrendong Classic was all about the thrill of the hunt, whether you were there to search for Easter eggs or overly keen to sign up for the fishing competition.
With an estimated 5000 people at the lake and over 1084 entrants, it was the third and biggest year for the Inland Waterways Regional Association’s (IWRA) Lake Burrendong Classic.
“It’s very exciting for the future of Wellington in terms of the economic influx the event brings,” president of the IWRA Matt Hansen said.
“It’s a great sport that you can take part in whether you are two or 102. It’s one of the biggest sports in the world.”
The IWRA is a non-for-profit organisation strongly supported by NSW Fisheries and RiverSmart.
With the funds raised at the event, the association will release 50,000 fingerlings into Lake Burrendong and the Macquarie River as well as continue their programs designed to educate the community about sustainable fishing and preserving waterways.
They are currently looking for more sponsors.
Over the last few years, Mr Hansen has noticed a change in the attitude surrounding fishing, especially when it comes releasing the fish.
“It’s great because if things didn’t change, then in 30 or 40 years our children wouldn’t know the joy of fishing,” he said.
It is estimated that the number of native fish has dropped 70 to 90 per cent since European settlement.
As for how to catch the biggest fish, everyone has a theory. Secretary and treasurer of the IWRA, Wendy Hood says that it takes luck, skill and most importantly being there when it happens.
In the fishing raffle, the boat was won by 8-month-old Tully Brown from Dubbo and the camping trailer went to David Ferguson of Molong.
The biggest cod was 73cm, caught by David Aries of Wellington; yellowbelly, 58cm and the most redfin caught was over 240. Over 1000 pest fish were removed from the dam.
Further details will be in Wednesday’s edition of the Wellington Times.