Wild Tropical ornamental fish and barramundi in the middle of temperate Victoria – in cooling ponds of Hazelwood power station.

Over ten years ago, I remember driving over two hours to get to this wild tropical fish Mecca in the middle of cold Victoria. We caught a selection of hybrid cichlids, and others have caught Oscars and plenty of other cichlids. These tropical fish had been released by fish hobbyists and have been able to survive the cold temperatures and have a self-sustaining population. Subsequently, these fish are considered feral and carried a pest status.

How is it possible? They’re thriving because this is a man-made lake, made to hold water to cool the power plant. So, I felt it was rather awkward to have to buy a fishing permit, to catch these fish. Nevertheless, we did, and were amazed at the different types of fishes we found.

This year, the state government took advantage of this tropical waters to stock with barramundi for the purpose of fishing. What an excellent idea!

Even in New Zealand, there’s a tropical freshwater prawn farm utilising the same idea – http://www.hukaprawnpark.co.nz/

But it sounds like it’s much too late. The Hazelwood power station is scheduled to shut down in the very near future. Bad timing? Was the $150,000 well spent for 5,000 barramundi?

Read more about "Victoria’s short-lived barramundi project, in cooling ponds of Hazelwood power station" at –

Yours sincerely,

Dr Richmond Loh
DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics& Pathobiology), CertAqV, NATA Signatory.

Aquatic Veterinarian & Veterinary Pathologist.

Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.
Ph: +61 421 822 383


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