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Stocking Up The Dam

Stocking Up The Dam

The Hinze Dam is the Gold Coast’s main drinking water supply and premier freshwater fishery. The 1,500-hectare dam is stocked with bass, golden perch (yellowbelly), silver perch, and saratoga.


The raising of the Hinze Dam and subsequent flooding of large stands of timber surrounding the old water’s edge produces a protected habitat and abundant feed for the fingerlings released by the Hinze Dam Fish Management Committee. The Australian bass have thrived in these conditions. The Hinze Dam is now one of the best locations for bass fishing in Australia, with even mid-winter fishing producing many fish.


Despite the present abundance of these quality fish, many anglers have been disappointed. The likely reason is that they have not adapted their fishing tactics to the changed environment.


Over many years when the old dam edges were fringed with weed, grass and waterlilies, slow trolling of lures along such fringes, or casting and retrieving of lures, or flies to the fringes, usually resulted in a quick hook-up. Such conditions are presently almost non-existent. And while slow trolling of hard body lures, especially in warmer weather, will still produce the occasional catch, most fish now appear to be shoaling in or about the drowned timber frequently at a depth of 15 feet or more below the surface.


A change of tactics is required. And after locating a shoal of large fish on their fish finder or sounder, successful anglers are now resorting to jigging soft plastics, blades jackal lures, spinner baits, or even ice jigs to the depth of the shoal.


There is of course risk of losing such expensive gear in the heavy underwater timber, and some anglers have resorted to “bait fishing”, which is permitted within the Hinze Dam, with the proviso that the bait must be indigenous to the area, such as freshwater shrimps, earthworms and freshwater yabbies.


While some anglers adopt a catch-and-release policy, anyone is permitted to keep two bass per person. If properly dispatched, filleted, skinned and kept in the fridge for 24 hours, the bass fillets make excellent eating when lightly floured and panfried in a little butter.


The Hinze Dam Fish Management Committee is charged with stocking the dam. In 2016 there were 67,000 bass fingerlings released in the dam. In December 2016, the Committee released 500 Mary River cod fingerlings into the Hinze Dam. In February 2017, assisted by SEQ Water, the Committee released 40,000 Australia bass fingerlings.


Since 2010, a total of 432,500 fingerlings have been released comprising:

– 284,000 Australian bass

– 106,000 golden perch (yellow belly)

– 42,000 silver perch

– 500 Mary River cod.


The Committee used to issue Hinze Dam fishing permits. Since July 2016, the Hinze Dam joined 63 other water storages in the Stocked Impoundment Permit Scheme (SIPS) administered by the State Government.


Visit for information about the Committee and SIP.