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National Museum hooked on Goulburn River

29 AUGUST 2006

The craft of making a handmade fly, the return of native fish and the joy of catching a crayfish are explored in a new National Museum of Australia online exhibition about the Goulburn River.

The Hooked...on the Goulburn exhibition includes images and audio from people who work and live in the Goulburn catchment, Victoria's largest river system and the source of water for the nation's largest irrigation scheme.

'As a hub for irrigation and fishing, the Goulburn is a significant river which tells us a lot about the relationship between Australian people and their environment,' National Museum curator Matthew Higgins said.

'We wanted to record the stories of the people who know the Goulburn, to learn about their life on the river and how they have looked after the river over time.'

The Hooked...on the Goulburn site traces river use from Lake Eildon to Shepparton and Seymour. Highlights include:

  • Thornton fishing store proprietor Geoff Hall on the 'lyrical curve of a fly line floating through the air in the sunset being enough to shatter the heart of any romantic'.
  • John Littlewood from the English Environment Agency with an alternative view of carp: 'To see 20 fat pound carp swimming about in the river classed as vermin, it would make most anglers back in England cry'.
  • Nagambie fishing mates Wally Cubbin and Alan Labas with tall tales and tips on the best eating (redfin, for the record).
  • Peter Fairbrother from the Goulburn Valley Angling Society on an electrofishing project which shows 'the river's on its way back'.
  • Mark Ferguson from the Eildon Trout Farm on aquaculture and tourism.
  • Fisheries officer John Cooper, who has seen an increase in native fish numbers and catch and release, in almost two decades of patrolling the Alexandra area.

Hooked...on the Goulburn is the latest in a series of online exhibitions by the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.

To view the online exhibition go to:

For audio grabs, images, interviews or more information please contact Leanda Kitchen on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710, Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or