Around 30,000 Golden Perch fingerlings were released in Copeton Dam after making a 830-kilometre journey from the Narrandera Fisheries Centre. Tuesday's native fish release was part of an annual state government stocking program for major water storage dams to support recreational fishing. Department of Primary Industries senior fisheries manager Jim Harnwell said more than 1,133,000 native fish had been stocked during the past 10 years. "Genetic research shows 98 per cent of the fish in Copeton are stocked, they don't breed in here. If we didn't stock the dam, there'd be no fish." he said. Specifically, 736,012 Golden Perch, 357,600 Murray Cod and 40,000 Silver Perch have made their way from the hatchery to dam water. "Copeton is probably the most famous Cod dam in Australia," Mr Harnwell added. Holiday park manager Paul Irwin said the increase of Golden Perch would lead to bigger Cod found in the dam. In two years, the fingerlings will grow to a legal size. Mr Irwin said it was great to see a variety of fish being stocked to strengthen the recreational fishing tourism. "No doubt the more Perch in here, the bigger the Cod are going to get and two years goes by pretty quick." Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall put on a pair of gumboots and fishing shirt to help NSW Fisheries release the fingerlings on Tuesday. He said the stock was to ensure Copeton's reputation as a premier recreational fishing location was maintained. "The recreational fishing sector contributes millions of dollars each year to the Inverell economy. Since 2014 this is the only inland spot in NSW where it has an open Cod season," Mr Marshall said. Last year 45,000 Murray Cod fingerlings were released into Copeton. Perch was chosen this year for variety. Mr Marshall confessed he was a "hopeless fisherman" and added the release gave him confidence. "I am happy every time more fish are put in this dam because it increases my chances of catching one." Copeton Dam's water storage currently sits at 11 per cent and is expected to reach around nine per cent in the next month or so. However, Mr Irwin was confident fishing conditions would remain strong coming into winter. "They all talk about the size of [Copeton] when it's full, 'three times the size of Sydney Harbour'. I've been out in the boat and there's still depths of 40 metres; still a lot of water and plenty of fish to catch. "Come out and enjoy Copeton in winter. It's great to be around the campfire and good chances of catching a big Cod," he said.