Water Management at Eucumbene Trout Farm
The farm has significant infrastructure with 13 tanks with 9 under cover, a main dam “Stony Lake”, a biofiltration dam and pond for effluent retention.
The core system is based around 3 dams, along Stony Creek. The farm also has water rights over 26 megalitres in total. The high quality of the water is critical to the trout hence our location at this elevation at the commencement of watercourses and must be maintained as our system described below does expertly.
The key dam is, 3 klms down from Rocky Plain Road, we call this “Stony Lake” covering some 6 hectares and is stocked with trout and is suitable for fly fishing. Stony Lake critically provides the store of Water for gravity feed into the grow out tanks and the hatchery.
The second dam, known as Duck Pond holds effluent waste and water runoff from the tanks and the hatchery and is situated below the grow out tanks.
The third dam receives water pumped from the Duck Pond , “the Effluent pond”, which is above “Stony Lake” where it Biofilters the water through the sand wall and through a sand bed/drainage system back into Stony Lake ready to be reefed to grow out tanks and hatchery clean.
There are overflow controls on the dams specifically on Stony lake. If necessitated this includes overflow control from Stony Lake, the first is with pipes to divert excessive water levels into Stony creek set about 1.5 metres below the dam wall and secondly mesh netting across the top of the dam wall should the water level achieve this point preventing fish from leaving the farm in a 1 in 100 year event.
There are also some ponds in Stony Creek that in the event of disaster can also collect trout for recovery purposes.
Overall the system is operated on a sustainable basis relying on its own water and filteration processes.
There are some 13 tanks.
9 for growing out trout before putting into sure catch pond or Stony Lake. These tanks are also for sight seers visiting to tour the operations. Different tanks also allow management of fish sizes necessary to manage growth and breeding purposes.
2 are substantial for a) “sure catch tanks” which is where most fish are caught by anglers should there be no success at Stony Lake and b) the other dedicated to commercial operations.
1 tank is for breeding stock it is also possible to use tanks in rotation for grow out and breeding.
From fingerlings trout take 12-18 months to mature to a reasonable size for catching.