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Huon River regulations
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The Huon is Tasmania’s fifth longest river, at 174km, flowing east from Lake Pedder and emptying into the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
Though the river produced Tasmania’s biggest trout, it is considered difficult to fish, as its banks are mostly overgrown, it flows hard, and is full of logs.
The bigger fish tend to hide under the logs during daylight hours.
The river has hatcheries on the Little Denison and Russell Rivers, which accounts for the occasional brook trout being caught, but for the most part the river is a brown trout and Atlantic salmon fishery, with occasional rainbows.
The tidal section below Huonville’s town bridge is wide and slow moving, with deep sections, with some submerged shallow gravel bottom and snags presenting a navigation hazard at low water.
There are mudflats further downstream around the Egg Islands.
This lower section of river has large resident and sea-run brown trout, as well as a great many Atlantic salmon from fish farms.
Bream are also caught in this section and they move above the bridge in summer during low rainfall.
Cocky salmon, barracoutta, cod, flathead and even tailor are caught in the tidal section below the bridge.
There is good access to the riverbank at Huonville, Franklin and Port Huon and between these townships, with the road following the river most of the way.
Sea-run and resident whitebait feeders are caught from late winter into spring by lure casting and fly fishing from shore and boat.
A boat makes it easier to find the bait and fish.
The section upstream between Huonville and Judbury has mostly heavily timbered banks with deep sections and long rapids.
There are some marked public access points.
The river is usually too high to wade, and tends to only flow low and slow for very short periods during summer.
When it does drop low enough the rock and gravel river bed is exposed, which makes access along the banks much easier.
The Huon is chock full of submerged timber and big fish tend to lurk under logs during the day, with the biggest fish usually caught on livebait at night.
Lures sunk down among logs will get snagged but this is the only reliable way to get the bigger fish on artificials.
The whitebait run in the tidal section provides the best sport, comprising a mass migration of juvenile galaxia, Tasmanian smelt and Tasmanian whitebait, along with migrations of juvenile eels and lamprey at times.
Look for bust-ups along the river bank eddies, and off points and bars.
Bubbles on the surface will give away where a trout has recently slashed at bait.
The area below the Huonville bridge is a prime spot for sea runners but it’s popularity is not what it used to be, with fishermen historically lined up on the bridge at night in years past.
The far upper section of the Huon between Judbury and Tahune runs through dense forest and is mostly inaccessible.
The water here usually runs fast and deep, with only the major river crossings providing access, unless you fish from a kayak.
Above the Picton River the Huon runs through thick forest, with the only access being the Huon walking track which goes into the Southwest National Park above Manuka Creek.
The Huon also contains blackfish, which were translocated from the state’s northern waters.
Redfin may be present, as they are in Lake Gordon and probably in the associated Lake Pedder, however redfin have not yet been formally recorded in the Huon.
Bait fishing is not permitted in national parks.
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Some external videos featuring Huon River are featured below.