Boat sheds at Nelson, Steve Cooper

The Glenelg River is situated at Nelson near the border with SA. The long river is one of the state’s premier fisheries for bream to 1.8 kg, estuary perch and mulloway to about 20 kg. Victoria has some excellent estuaries west of Melbourne, like the Barwon and Hopkins rivers, but none produce fish as consistently as the Glenelg.

At ‘Chapmans’, a few kilometres upstream from Nelson, the river crosses into SA before snaking back into the garden state at Dry Creek. There are strict speed limits on the Glenelg and it would take all  day to motor upstream at  5 knots if you launched at Nelson. Sapling Creek, for example, is 26 km   upstream from the river mouth, but you can get there in about  15 minutes from Nelson by road. That’s the beauty of this system. There are many boat ramps and landings accessible by car. Parks Victoria has issued an excellent guide to the area called the Glenelg River Guide, Lower Glenelg National Park. It can be downloaded at The map covers the river from the mouth upstream as far as Dartmoor, and it shows boat ramps, campsites and access roads.

When the mulloway show, usually about October, the early action takes place at the lower end on the river at ‘Taylors Straight’ and below Nelson, near the mouth. As the season progresses expect to hear reports of mulloway and bream being caught further upstream at places like Sandy Waterhole, or further up at ‘Mulloway Strait’ near Sapling Creek.

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